Speedskater Kaleb Muller has his eyes on the 2022 Winter Olympics and his silver medal on Saturday brought him a little closer to that dream.
“I would like to make the Olympics, said Muller, who is from Lethbridge and was competing in the long track 1,500-metre event at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. “The next one is three years away and I think that is a reasonable goal.
“This is a good start.
“I went to the last Winter Games four years ago and I didn’t medal there so I was pretty hungry, and it feels good,” he said at the Setters Place outdoor oval in Big Chief Park.
Muller wasn’t fazed by the conditions, which featured -20 C temperatures, which felt like close to -30 C with windchill.
“It’s the same for everyone, right? You’ve just got to push through it. You can’t really let it affect you.”
Muller normally trains indoors in Calgary but venturing outdoors into conditions a long way from ideal did not mean making a lot of changes.
“It’s the same game plan for the race just try to dress as warm as you can.”
Alberta’s men’s speedskating team had a very strong showing with Calgarians Paul Coderre and Max Halyk finishing fifth and seventh and Joshua Hathaway, of Medicine Hat, finishing eighth.
Gold medallist Tyson Langelaar, of Winnipeg, was happy to earn a gold for his province.
“I always like to represent Manitoba to the best of my abilities,” he said. “To represent them with a gold medal to start off the competition is really nice and exciting.”
Langelaar also hopes to represent Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
“2022 is a big goal for me in my speedskating career so this is another stepping stone towards that goal.”
Bronze medallist Matthew Laxton, from Georgetown, Ont., said racing was a case of “nose down, grind it out, just get out of there as soon as you can so you don’t freeze.
“I’ve always liked skating outside,” said Laxton, who trains out of Calgary at the Olympic Oval. “It’s just a nice change of scenery because it’s really more of a grind and less about technical finesse, which I like.”
To see upcoming speedskating events and other sports schedules go to www.canadagames.ca.