He's skating for three

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

While he's locked up a spot on Canada's speed-skating sprint team, Sterling Sobczak knows he could just as easily be chained down to a desk, working a corporate job.

The Winnipeg skater finished second overall in national World Cup 1,000m sprint qualifying yesterday at the Olympic Oval, behind training partner Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer.

While most skaters are in their teens or mid 20s, the 30-year-old Sobczak is far more settled down. Married to Shana Sundstrom, he has a 15-month-old daughter, Zoe, and knows without the support of his family, he wouldn't be skating.

"It was a big decision when we fairly unexpectedly became pregnant. I'm extremely fortunate to have very caring and supportive parents on both sides of the family," said Sobczak, who also made Canada's 500m team and is sponsored by an anonymous Calgarian. "So if it weren't for them, I definitely would not be skating. The carding's pretty good because you have a chance to get a degree at the end of it and you get a little bit of money here and there but it really doesn't pay the bills."

Wotherspoon won in a time of one minute 8.41 seconds, while Sobczak had a 1:11.27 clocking. Calgary's Brock Miron (1:11.51) and Quebec's Jean-Rene Belanger (1:11.69) rounded out the top four. Winnipeg's James Monson, will also be on the 1,000m team for the Dec. 4-5 World Cup in Nagano, Japan.

For Sobczak, it's his first time on the World Cup circuit since 2002, after he battled a groin injury last season.

"I'm very excited because last time I was there, I was injured and this time it's nice to go and be healthy and just concentrate on racing as opposed to minimizing the damage to my injury."

In the women's 1,000, Winnipeg's Shannon Rempel won in 1:16:29, followed by Regina's Kim Weger (1:18.42) and Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., (1:18.49).


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