Blondin’s win puts Canada in exclusive territory in women’s sport
So this is pretty cool. Ivanie Blondin recently completed a unique gold medal set for Canada when she took the world mass start title.
By winning in Kolomna, Russia, she made Canada the first country to ever win gold in all seven women’s events at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships.
In case you didn’t know, there are three different world championships in long track speed skating. The most traditional are the World Allround Championships, first held in 1893, which hand out one gold medal per gender for the best overall performance across multiple distances. The World Sprint Championships began in 1970 to recognize consistency across the shortest distances, 500m and 1000m.
RELATED: Blondin wins mass start world title
The World Single Distances Championships were not introduced until 1996. Except for 1998, they are not held in Olympic years because they essentially mimic the Olympic program: one gold medal awarded in every event.
In their 20 years of existence, Canadian women have won 15 gold medals, third-most behind Germany (36) and the Netherlands (19). But the Dutch have never won a women’s 500m or 5000m gold medal and the Germans haven’t won the mass start since that event was added last year.
The names on the full list of Canadian speed skaters who complete this unique gold medal set are no less than legendary. They include Catriona Le May Doan, Clara Hughes, Cindy Klassen, Kristina Groves, Christine Nesbitt, Brittany Schussler, Shannon Rempel. Now add Blondin to that list of greats.
Just one more reason to celebrate Canada’s newest speed skating world champion.