Monday, February 11, 2008 – Calgary – Catriona Le May Doan and National Speed Skating Team Guest Judges Kristina Groves and Olivier Jean have been searching for the best speed skating story in Canada, and they�ve narrowed their search to the Top 8.
For Catriona, the ING Speed Skating Challenge isn�t a competition to find the best young speed skater in Canada. More importantly, it�s about finding the best speed skating stories and experiences that kids have to share.
�When we launched the ING Speed Skating Challenge, the goal was to give young skaters in communities across Canada a voice � a way of telling the rest of the country why they love the sport. And they�ve really responded to the challenge,� said Catriona.
With dozens of videos received from Yellowknife to Oakville, from Nunavut to Saint John, and Laval to Lloydminster, the judges had the difficult task of determining which stories would be made available for online voting.
Here, officially, are the Top 8 video stories from across the country (in no particular order):
- Cedrik Blais, Les Ailes d�Or de Lasalle, Quebec
- Sarah Ali, Iqaluit Speed Skating Club, Nunavut
- Alastair Starke, Lloydminster Border Blades Speed Skating Club, Alberta
- Taylor White, Cambridge Speed Skating Club, Ontario
- Andrea Johnson, Winnipeg Speed Skating Club, Manitoba
- Benjamin Tam, Alberta Amateur Speed Skating Association, Alberta
- Connor Lee, Newmarket Jets, Ontario
- Sarah Pousette, Prince George Blizzard Speed Skating Club, British Columbia
Now it�s Canada�s turn.
Voting officially begins online today at www.INGSpeedSkatingChallenge.com. The country will decide who has Canada�s best speed skating story.
The winner will be crowned on March 15, 2008 at the ING Video Awards Party during the season�s final weekend of competition during the ING Finale at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.
ING and Speed Skating Canada partners have provided over $25,000 in prizes for clubs and young skaters.
ING SPEED SKATING CHALLENGE TIMELINE
- Challenge opened: November 14, 2007
- Challenge closed: February 3, 2008 (Video Entry Deadline)
- Voting begins: February 11, 2008
- Voting closes: March 14, 2008, 12 midnight EST
- Canada�s best speed skating story is crowned: March 15, 2008
- Prizes: Over $25,000 in cash and prizes available to be won
MEET THE GUEST JUDGES
Kristina Groves, Long Track
Kristina has been with Canada�s Long Track Team for 11 seasons, and in that time has made many trips to the World Cup and Olympic Podiums. Away from the oval she�s a proud supporter of Right To Play. You can read her blog at www.SpeedSkatingNation.com.
Olivier Jean, Short Track
Olivier burst on to the short track scene in the 2006-2007 season and reached the podium in every World Cup race he entered. He�s also an inline racer and won the 2006 Canadian Sprint Championships.
ING � PROUD SUPPORTER OF PERSONAL BESTS
In 2006, ING Canada announced our Premier Partnership with Speed Skating Canada, which involves a commitment to the sport for over the next six years. With this support, we hope both to help elite athletes achieve their gold medal dreams, and to further grow this sport in communities across the country.
For ING, this partnership represents a great fit as it ties into our roots in the Netherlands, where speed skating originated, and it complements other existing ING sponsorships in Canada, most notably the Calgary Olympic Oval.
�ING in Canada is dedicated to high performance � for our customers, brokers, and employees,� said Derek Iles, President of ING Insurance Company of Canada. �By partnering with Speed Skating Canada, we hope to work together to highlight and build on the performances and achievements of Canada’s speed skating champions and to bring the sport of speed skating to communities across the country, where our customers and brokers work and live.�
We�re proud of our involvement in both ING On The Edge, a program that works with Speed Skating Canada to bring speed skating into elementary schools and provide young people with skating instruction, and the just launched ING Speed Skating Challenge � the search for Canada�s best speed skating story. As a national organization that operates in many communities across Canada, we are always looking for a way to give back to those communities and make a difference.
ING Insurance is the largest auto, property and liability insurer in Canada with a network of more than 2,800 independent insurance brokerages. It is part of ING Canada (TSX: IIC), which provides insurance products to individuals and businesses through ING Insurance and other subsidiaries. www.ingcanada.com.