Charles Hamelin did not have much time to savour his stirring Olympic gold-medal performance in the 500-metre race in Vancouver in 2010.
About 30 minutes after the completion of that race, the 29-year-old native of Sainte-Julie, Que., was back on the oval for the 5,000-m relay final in which he helped lift Canada to another gold medal. And it truly was a family affair for Hamelin in Vancouver, with his younger brother, François, on the podium with him as a member of the victorious Canadian relay squad. Hamelin’s long-time partner, Marianne St-Gelais, of Saint-Félicien, Que., picked up two short-track silvers, and his father, Yves, is Canada’s short-track program director.
Hamelin is hoping to continue that success in Sochi, where he is a medal threat at 1,000 m and 1,500 m as well as in the 5,000-m relay.
“When you start to win medals, you forget about all the hours and hours of training,” he said. “Our goal since 2010 has been to become even better athletes by the time Sochi comes around. I am in top form right now and I really believe I can do it.”
Yves Hamelin says Canada’s short-track team is poised for another strong Olympics. “They’re healthier, they’re stronger,” he said.
Olivier Jean of Repentigny, Que., who was also a member of the 2010 squad, Michael Gilday, 27, of Yellowknife, and Charle Cournoyer, 22, of Longueuil, Que., round out the team.