Sports: Speed Skating

Stefan Waples is a Winnipeg-born long track speed skater. Stefan began speed skating at seven years old to benefit his hockey playing. At 14, hockey took a backseat to speed skating for Stefan as he became faster and more serious about the sport.

Now, Stefan is a member of Canada’s national Long Track Speed Skating team. His first international competition was his most memorable one, when he competed at a world cup in the 10,000m in the Netherlands. He remembers the fans being excited for speed skating’s longest event in a way he’d never seen before, and noted the atmosphere was unlike any other he’d experienced.

Last year, Stefan qualified for speed skating’s most prestigious event – the Single Distance Championships in Kolomna, Russia, qualifying for the mass start final despite a badly sprained ankle.

Stefan loves speed skating for many reasons. “There are so many aspects to improve on. I can always find something to do better – strength, conditioning, technique, race strategy – even when I skate a ‘perfect’ race, I can always find something better to do the next time.” Ultimately, Stefan dreams of capturing Olympic gold.

“Even when I skate a ‘perfect’ race, I can always find something better to do the next time.”

What does Stefan love most about Manitoba? 

“The community of people who help one another out, it’s unlike anywhere else I’ve been.”

Favourite moment in sport:

“When I think of my favourite sporting moment, Daniel Igali, a Canadian wrester who won Olympic gold in 2000 always comes to mind. He was born in Nigeria, but I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever seen who was more proud to have represented Canada. The joy and pride he showed has stuck with me and is something I think about whenever I put on the maple leaf.”

DOB: 05/04/87

Hometown: Winnipeg, MB

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