How harnessing short-track chaos propelled Samuel Girard to Olympic gold

Samuel Girard
1998 was a long time ago
Author

19 February, 2018

GANGENUNG, KOREA, REPUBLIC OF-Canada's Samuel Girard has won gold in men's 1,000-metre short-track speedskating at the Pyeongchang Winter Games. South Korea's Seo Yi-ra took the bronze after jumping back up following the spectacular crash which took three of the five starters off the ice.

Seo and teammate Lim Hyo-jun, who won the 1,500, were taken out in the turn approaching the last lap by Liu Shaolin Sandor of Hungary.

A 10-time Canadian champion, Chan was sixth in Friday's short program after falling on his triple Axel, and ends his career with a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Games and team gold in Pyeongchang. Girard raced to gold in the men's 1,000 metres - the only Olympic short-track event in which Hamelin doesn't own a medal - while Boutin earned her second bronze of the Games in the women's 1,500.

The carnage was not quite as spectacular as in Salt Lake as Girard still had to fight off a challenge from Krueger to break Asia's domination of the 1,000m. "I wanted to protect my place because I knew there was a chance at passing me on the inside". I think it wasn't the thing to do at that moment. We train together, all the team was behind me on this medal. That's what the referees saw on the replay.

Going from disappointment to opportunity in an instant, Girard needed a mental reset and coach Derrick Campbell and team psychologist Fabien Abejean helped provide one.

"There is just too much traffic and stuff that can go down if you stay in the back, so we both stayed up in the front and it paid off for both of us", Krueger said. I was the guy in the front putting in a good pace that put everyone in trouble fighting to pass me.

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Girard moved on at the expense of countryman Charles Hamelin, who was penalized for impeding.

"I think we played really well in those other games, but we each had a couple key mistakes that really cost us", the Ottawa skip said.

"I realized it as soon as I saw the decision", Hamelin said.

"I bumped into the American and that is it", Knegt said.

"Having a medal at maybe his last Olympics and my first one, a gold medal at my first Olympics, that's the best thing you can expect".


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