Speed Skating

CBC Sports - Tuesday Dec. 17, 2013 12:02 ET

Jeremy Wotherspoon confirmed to compete at Olympic speed skating trials

World record holder couldn't crack World Cup roster in October

Jeremy Wotherspoon
Jeremy Wotherspoon skates during the Canadian World Cup team trials in Calgary on Thursday. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Jeremy Wotherspoon will continue his comeback bid at the upcoming Olympic trials, Speed Skating Canada announced through its Twitter feed on Tuesday.

Wotherspoon, 37, announced in June that he was coming back to the track.

The Humboldt, Sask., native tried to make the 2013-14 World Cup roster for the Canadian team in early October. He was disqualified in the 1,000 metre race, and finished 11th in the 500. The 500 involved a re-race, as Wotherspoon had been blocked by another skater in the first running.

Wotherspoon's decision to give it another shot would not be a surprise to former teammate Kristina Groves, who predicted a few days after those results that he would continue training towards the Olympic trials, which begin at the Calgary Oval on Dec. 28.

"He’s too far in to walk away enough," Groves told CBCSports.ca. "It was only in June that he announced his comeback. I think he’s going to stick around to trials."

Wotherspoon is still the world record holder in the 500, with a time of 34.03 seconds that he set in 2007. He held the 1,000 record on seven separate occasions between 1997 and 2001.

Though Wotherspoon won silver in the 500 metres at the 1998 Nagano Games, his other Olympic performances were marked by disappointment. He fell at the beginning of the 500 race at the 2002 Olympics, and finished no better than ninth in any of his individual races in Turin (2006) and Vancouver (2010).

Wotherspoon has admitted in interviews there's a sense of unfinished Olympic business prompting the decision to return to competition. He's spent recent years still involved in the sport, coaching skaters in Europe.  

Wotherspoon won 67 World Cup races, three 500-metre world titles and another in the 1,000, plus four world sprint championships during his career. He was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

-- With files from The Canadian Press



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