Everything 'comes together' for Canadian speed skaters

Ivanie Blondin is heading to the Sochi Olympics next February. (Grigory Dukor/Reuters)

Ivanie Blondin is heading to the Sochi Olympics next February. (Grigory Dukor/Reuters)

SCOTT MITCHELL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:37 AM ET

CALGARY - Ivanie Blondin had been working her whole life to get to this point.

But as the 23-year-old long-track speedskater stepped to the starting line Saturday afternoon at Calgary's Olympic Oval in the 3,000-metre race with a berth in the upcoming Sochi Olympics on the line, human nature took over.

"I was so nervous before that damn race. I was trying to keep everything together," Blondin said. "We're mentally prepared for this, we're physically prepared for this, so we just try to tell each other we can do it. Yeah, there's nerves and everything, but if you're mentally strong and you're physically strong, too, it'll come together."

It came together for the Ottawa native Saturday at the 2014 Speed Skating Team Selections and Canadian Single Distance Championships, as she managed a time of 4:12.79 to finish second to Winnipeg's Brittany Schussler (4:08.09).

Both have now booked their ticket to Russia in six weeks.


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