Speed skating greatness comes to Montréal
Sports fans enthralled by the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang – all the riveting, suspense-filled speed skating events in particular – will have a firsthand chance to experience the excitement of these contests when the prestigious 2018 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships land in Montréal just a few weeks following the Games. And best of all, many of those same Pyeongchang skaters will be on hand for what is the single most important annual event in short track speed skating each year featuring the world’s best athletes.
Montréal makes world champions
The 43rd edition of the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, presented by Patinage de vitesse international de Montréal (PAVIM) on behalf of Speed Skating Canada, will be held at the Maurice-Richard Arena – the home of Canada’s national short track speed skating team, located in the Olympic Park – in Montréal, March 17-18. This will be the fourth time Montréal has hosted the event, which determines the world champion in individual distances, relays and overall classification (previous years were 1987, 2002 and 2014). Skaters will compete in 500 m, 1,000 m, 1,500 m and 3,000 m individual races, and four-person relays: 3000 m for women, 5,000 m for men.
Relive the Olympic dream
As mentioned, the 2018 ISU World Championships come hot on the heels 2018 Korean Winter Games, and could potentially be the last time some of these Olympic medalists strap on their blades at an international level. It’s an utterly unique opportunity to see legendary skaters such as Charles Hamelin (Charles has been on the World Championship podium six times) and Marianne St-Gelais (who has two World Championship silver medals, 2016 and 2017), key figures in Canada’s short track sporting history.
Grab tix while you still can (plus a special free day)
Tickets for the final rounds of competition on March 17-18 are available through the official website of the 2018 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships here. They’re great bang for the buck, ranging from $40 to $20 per day, depending on the section, and it should be noted that every seat in the 4,750-capacity arena is a great seat. Speaking of great seats, admission for kids two years of age or younger is free as long as they can sit on a parent’s lap. And a special added bonus for speed skating fans: admission to the qualifying rounds on Friday, March 16, ahead of the final rounds on Saturday and Sunday, is free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Jamie O’Meara, blogger
Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.