Short track icon Charles Hamelin has the chance to end his career with gold in Montreal

This weekend’s short track world championship has all the makings of a storybook ending for Canadian icon Charles Hamelin.

‘Locomotive de Saint-Julie’ is expected to hang up his boots after the men’s 5,000m relay event at Aréna Maurice-Richard, Montreal. One last event on the ice cage gave Hamelin the opportunity to retreat with one more podium on the world championship stage.

You can watch competitions from the world of short tracks starting on Saturday on the CBC Sports app,, and CBC Gems. You can also catch broadcast coverage on The road to the Olympics on Saturday and Sunday.

Hamelin will compete alongside teammates and fellow Beijing Olympic gold medalists Steven Dubois, Pascal Dion, Jordan Pierre-Gilles and Maxime Laoun against Italy and the Netherlands in Saturday’s second semifinal to advance to Sunday’s final.

The quintet contributed five of the 10 skaters to represent Canada.

Olympic medalists Kim Boutin, Courtney Sarault, Alyson Charles, Florence Brunelle and Danaé Blais will represent Canada on the women’s team.

Despite being less than two months away from winning a gold medal at the Olympics, 37-year-old Hamelin insists he is not only in a good place physically, but also wants one last moment to be cherished at home.

“I feel great. [Going to] focus on the relay and hopefully we’ll come back with a gold medal like we did in the Olympics,” Hamelin told CBC Sports. “I love what I’m doing and that’s the reason why I’m still here.

“I reach the podium at every distance [in my career]. I want to [have] it was at home.”

VIEW | Hamelin discusses the decision to end his career:

Charles Hamelin slides into his final chapter

One of Canada’s most prolific speed skaters spoke to CBC Sports about going to the 5th Olympics and his decision to postpone his retirement until after Beijing 2022. 3:00

Hamelin, of Sainte-Julie, Que., has won six Olympic medals (four gold, one silver, one bronze) from five Olympic appearances, 37 world championship medals (14 of which are gold), as well as 142 World Cup medals.

Six Olympic medals tie her with speed skater great Cindy Klassen for the most medals won by a Canadian Olympian at the Winter Olympics.

Hamelin is also second all-time for most Olympic medals won by short track speed skaters (male or female) with Wang Meng of China, and only behind Victor An of Russia with eight.

His world championship medal tally keeps him sixth all-time, with the standings based on gold medal wins, while having the most medal totals in the group. His World Cup medal tally keeps him in fifth place, with Hamelin having the most medals total.

Needless to say, Hamelin’s legacy as one of the greatest in his sport is safe and sound.

“I have the opportunity to win everything in my sport,” Hamelin said.

championship courage

Hamelin will have plenty of support from his Montreal team-mates, who enter the relay competition as Olympic champion and owner of a pair of World Cup gold and one silver from this season’s race.

They will again be the favorites to enter the event after their gold medal appearance in Beijing.

VIEW | Hamelin tied Canada’s record with relay gold in Beijing:

Hamelin wins relay gold, tie Canadian record with 6th Olympic medal

Charles Hamelin closed his Olympic career on an emotional high, while a gold medal gave team-mate Steven Dubois one of every color at Beijing 2022. 9:56

Dubois, from Terrebonne, Que., impressed on his Olympic debut after winning silver in the 1,500m and bronze in the 500m in February. The 24-year-old who has never won a world championship medal is proving that he can be a contender for years to come.

Montreal native Dion, 27, has been with Hamelin since winning 2018 world championship silver, 2018 Olympic bronze, in her Olympic debut, and gold in 2022.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Pierre-Gilles, from Sherbrooke, Que., and Montreal native Laoun, 25, were also Olympic debutants in February and were also part of the gold medal relay win.

While the youngsters will have a lot more to see in their careers, it will still be a sort of ending with it being the final event of the 2021-22 season.

With Hamelin out soon, carrying momentum into next season will be crucial as this chapter closes and another chapter opens in the Canadian men’s short track fast skating scene.

Hadwin Floyd

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