Growing up in Lévis, Que., Charles Hamelin was accustomed to cold icy weather and strapping on ice skates.
Hamelin and his brother Francois Hamelin would always run around the house every winter skating on the local pond.
“There was a little lake beside our house, and I used to skate on it in hockey skates,” Hamelin told CBC.ca.
And when mom asked what he wanted to do with his life, the answer was easy.
“I saw speed-skating in a book and asked if that was like what I did on the lake. She said, ‘Yes,’ and so that’s what I decided to do,” Hamelin told CBC.ca
Hamelin will be a part of the short track speed skating team representing Canada and he knows that there is tough competition ahead for the group but he doesn’t let it get to him.
Since 2006, Hamelin has won World Cup medals every year and, going back to 2005, there have been seven golds as a singles competitor and alongside the team at the world championships.
His best accomplishment to date was winning silver in the 5,000-metre relay race at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin.
The men that will back Hamelin include his brother, Francois, and teammate Francois-Louis Tremblay from Alma, Que., who will bring passion and experience along with him.
Tremblay skated in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.
One of Canada’s strongest competitors is the American team, led by Apolo Anton Ohno, who will attempt to win multiple Olympic medals for the third time in a row.
In all past Olympics, the South Koreans have done extremely well in the men’s short track event since it was first introduced to the Games in 1992.
Leading South Korea is Jung-Su Lee whom, at 19 years of age, has competed on the World Cup speedskating circuit and placed first ahead of Ohno and Hamelin.