LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK – Team Canada’s Shilo Rousseau makes history every time she straps on her skis and throws a rifle behind her back.
The University of Ottawa student-athlete skied and shot her way to the gold medal in the women’s 10km pursuit on Thursday, claiming her second gold of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games and third medal after winning silver in the 7.5km sprint.
With the win, done in 32:24.40, she became the fourth Canadian athlete to win two gold medals at a single FISU Winter World University Games while also tying former speed skater Susan Auch for the most medals at a single Games.
Auch, a now former president of Speed Skating Canada, won her triple at Belluno in 1985. Fellow skaters Louis Grenier and Jeff Schoelten have also won two gold medals at a single FISU Games.
Rousseau topped the podium alongside Poland’s Anna Nedza-Kubiniec, who claimed silver with a time of 33:04.5, and Barbara Skrobiszewska, who finished with the bronze medal and a time of 33:39.3.
“I just feel so proud of myself,” Rousseau said. “Coming into these Games, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was really just here for the experience, to do some racing and have some fun.”
“Every race is a new day, you forget about the past, you forget about the future, you just focus on right now and just trying to not think about what’s to come or what’s happened,” Rousseau told reporters post-race. “Biathlon is a crazy sport, and everything can change so easily with all the shooting, so it’s important to focus on the present.
With three medals in her back pocket, Rousseau will attempt a fourth and final Lake Placid 2023 medal when she takes on the mass start on Jan. 21, after having Friday to recover.
Outside of her historic result, uOttawa teammate Zoe Pekos finished 11th, while Anna Perry claimed 32nd, with Danika Burke in 36th. Cara Pekos finished in 39th.
On the men’s side in the 15km pursuit, Will Moineau led the way with a 22nd place finish, alongside 27th place Zachary Demers, 29th place William Ng, 31st place Simon Gauthier and Remeo Champagne in 32nd.
Short track gets underway as Canadians start medal-less
Team Canada’s short-track speed skaters have high hopes for themselves at the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games, but they didn’t start on the foot that they had hoped for.
With six skaters, three men, and three women, starting in the 1500m, none made it past the semifinal. Cegep student-athlete Philippe Daudelin won the men’s 1500m B Final, while Alexandre Migner and Justin Bergeron didn’t make it that far, finishing 13th and 19th.
In the women’s event, Yellowknife’s Wren Acorn led the Canadian team with a 10th-place finish after getting pushed out in a tight quarter-final heat. Meanwhile, Kélian Quevillon claimed 12th place, with Catherine Lamarche finishing in 21st.
Things didn’t improve much for Canada in the mixed-team relay either. After navigating their way through a quarter-final featuring themselves, Germany, Ukraine and the Netherlands, they fell short in the semifinals and won’t race for a medal in the distance.
Still, it’s only the first day of short track competition at the 1932 Rink in Lake Placid, and there will be more opportunities for Canadians to reach the podium, starting on Friday when they skate the 500m, 3000m relays and 5000m relays.
Canada cuts in close on the penultimate day of speed skating
Canada’s speed skaters are more attuned to longer distances, but they came close to cracking the podium on Thursday in the men’s and women’s 500m and the mixed team pursuit.
University of Calgary student-athlete Frank Roth skated into fifth place in the men’s 500m, the top Canadian with a time of 36.20, just 0.21 seconds off a spot on the podium. Meanwhile, Josh Telizyn finished 8th, skating the distance in a time of XXXX. Rounding off the Canadian three in the top 10 was 1000m bronze medalist David La Rue, who finished 9th in XXX. Finally, Laval’s Hubert Marcotte capped the Canadian contingent with 13th place.
Meanwhile, for the women’s 500m, it was Calgary Dino Anna Bourgeois with the top Canadian time of XX, good for 18th place, while 3000m medalist Rose-Anne Grenier and Laura Hall finished with times of XXXX and XXXX, good for 22nd and 27th. Laurie Cayer rounded off the group in 27th.
Although it wasn’t a day of luck in the individual events, Canada’s pair of Bourgeois and Roth nearly powered the red and white to the podium as they skated to a fourth-place finish in the penultimate pair.
Long track speed skating competitions end on Friday, with the men’s and women’s mass starting at 10:00 am ET. So far, Canada has won four medals on the outdoor oval in Lake Placid.
Tough draw makes for short team event
It wasn’t Canada’s day in the mixed alpine team event at Whiteface Mountain, spending 17 minutes in action until they were officially done for the day.
The Canadian squad faced Switzerland in the opening round, falling 4-1, as Caroline Beauchamp was the only one to earn a point for her team. Claire Timmerman, Dawson Yates and Pierre-Elliot Poitras all dropped their matchups to a Swiss team that went on to win the silver medal.
With super-G combined and the team event in the rearview, Canada’s skiers look ahead to the men’s and women’s slaloms to end the Games, the strongest discipline for Yates and Beauchamp.
Men’s curling falls short of gold
It wasn’t to be for Canadian curling at the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games, as Team Owen Purcell joined Team Abby Marks in seeing their hopes of a gold medal dashed before the final.
From Dalhousie University, Team Owen Purell started the day with their final preliminary game, a loss to Team GB, setting up a rematch in the semi-finals, where they fell for a second time.
Canada’s golden dry spell in men’s curling enters it’s 20th year after Team Mike McEwan led his team to gold in 2003. Still, there’s solace and desire in a bronze medal game that Team Owen Purcell will take on, facing Switzerland on Friday night.
Friday looks to be an exciting day for Canadian sports fans, as the women’s hockey team takes on the FISU Games semi-final against Slovakia at 2:35 pm ET at the legendary Miracle on Ice Rink in Lake Placid.
At the same time, the morning offers another chance for the long-track speed skaters to find the podium in the mass start, while the men’s curling bronze medal game and 500m short track races take their spot in the early evening.
Fans looking to watch any of the events can visit FISU TV or TSN +.