Preview: Gregg follows family legacy

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER — Short-track speed skater Jessica Gregg has two chances at a medal Wednesday in the Pacific Coliseum, the same rink where her father played for and against the Vancouver Canucks.

The 20-year-old is the daughter of Dr. Randy Gregg, a two-time Olympian and Edmonton Oilers player who retired as a Canuck in 1992. She is racing with the 3,000-metre short-track relay team and also seeks gold in the 1,000.

“Growing up in the sporting environment in my family has really benefitted me,” said Gregg, who is studying kinesiology at the University of Calgary.

She’s hoping to follow in the tracks of her famous father and speed-skating mother Kathy, who have both competed in Winter Olympics.

Long-track speed skater Clara Hughes, who carried the Canadian flag in the opening ceremony, returns to the Richmond Olympic Oval ice to defend her 5,000-metre speed skating championship from Turin.

The Winnipeg native is in her fifth and final Olympics. She is hoping to ride the wave of the opening ceremony to the podium.

“I don’t feel any pressure on my performance,” she said. “It’s going to give me an inspiration I’ve never felt before.”

Ottawa’s Kristina Groves and Winnipeg’s Cindy Klassen are also entered. Groves has a 1,500-metre silver and 3,000-metre bronze from earlier in the Games and will be challenging Hughes for the gold.

Snow and fog is expected at Whistler Creekside, where the women’s giant slalom is scheduled. Canada’s entries include Shona Rubens of Canmore, Alta., Marie-Michele Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., and Brigitte Acton of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Acton was 11th in the event at Turin in 2006.

Women’s bobsledding resumes at the Whistler Sliding Centre with Kaillie Humphries of Calgary and Heather Moyse of Summerside, P.E.I. joining Calgarians Shelley Ann Brown and Helen Upperton in the duo races.

Canada’s men’s cross-country ski team aims for a medal of any colour in the 4-x-10-kilometre relay at the Whistler Olympic Park.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca

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