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Prince George to host junior national speed skating championships

'People don’t realize how good our ice is'
Rosalie Tremblay of Quebec City led from start to finish in the women's A-final to win the Canada Winter Games 1,500m gold medal at Kin 1, Feb. 16, 2015. The same rink will be the site of the short track junior national open event, Jan. 11-12, 2025

Prince George is known around short-track speed skating circles for its fast ice.

The Olympic-sized rink at Kin 1 used for the 2015 Canada Winter Games will again attract the country’s top 16-18-year-old athletes for the Canadian junior short-track open championships, Jan. 11-12, 2025.

“These are your (national team) NextGen kids, it’s really exciting for the club,” said Sylvia Masich, media spokesperson/coach of the host Prince George Blizzard Speed Skating Club.

“People don’t realize how good our ice is. We’re kind of that hidden secret and it will be exciting to see all these people coming from across the country coming to Prince George to see how fast our ice is at Kin1. I’ve talked to a few people and they’ve said Prince George ice is top five in Canada, of the ice they’ve skated on.”

Masich says the speed of the ice during provincial competitions takes skaters by surprise and produces more falls compared to other rinks  in B.C. She attributes the ice quality to the pride that city of Prince George ice attendants bring to their jobs and their willingness to share their secrets for making fast ice with each other.

“They knock it out of the park every time,” said Masich. “It’s just a different flooding technique with the Zamboni. They’ve done it every year, so it’s going to be a great competition come January.”

“It gives (the club’s young skaters) inspiration to watch these super-fast skaters and think, that’s going to me one day.”

Masich said the 200-by-100-metre Olympic-sized surface (15 feet wider than an NHL-sized rink) is one of only four with the wider dimensions in B.C.

“It’s so much safer for athletes because you have more space between the ice and the mats, so you have more opportunity to slow down at high speed,” she said.

The junior national event was last held in Prince George at the same venue as a test event for the Canada Games.

Next year’s competition is about a year in advance of the 2026 Olympics in Italy, which could feature Blizzard alumna Carolina Hiller.

“Lina Hiller still registers as a Blizzard skater every year and to have her to look up to, especially coming up to an Olympic year, is pretty awesome,” said Masich.

For information about volunteer opportunities for the junior national event, go to the Blizzard club website,