Five-time Olympic medallist Hamelin headlines Canada's short-track team

Canada's Charles Hamelin skates during the men's 5000-metre relay finals at the ISU World Cup short track speed skating event in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

Canada's short-track speedskating star Charles Hamelin will make his fifth Olympic appearance at the 2022 Games in Beijing.

The 37-year-old from Sainte-Julie Que., who has five Olympic medals including three gold, headlines the 10-member Canadian team announced Tuesday.

"It's crazy to think that I will soon be leaving for my fifth and final Olympics,'' Hamelin said in a statement. "I am very proud of where this team is after four challenging years. Every skater has worked very hard to get to this point and I know they will be ready to take on this next challenge.''

Hamelin is tied with short-track speedskaters Marc Gagnon, who'll be an assistant coach in Beijing, and Francois-Louis Tremblay, and figure skater Scott Moir as Canada's most decorated male Winter Olympians.

Canada has a tradition of excellence in short-track, racing to 33 Olympic medals — nine gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze — since the sport was added to the Olympic program in 1992 in Albertville. It's the country's most successful Winter Games sport behind only long-track speedskating (37 medals).

The team, which was chosen based on performances at four ISU World Cup Short Track competitions this fall, also features Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., who captured three medals (a silver and two bronze) four years ago in Pyeongchang, and Pascal Dion of Montreal, who won bronze in Pyeongchang.

Boutin, the world record-holder in the 500 metres, was selected Canada's flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies four years ago in South Korea after her outstanding Games debut.

"I can't believe it's already time to reconnect with the Olympic rings,'' said Boutin, who stepped away from skating during the pandemic to focus on her mental health. "I'm returning to the Games, but this time my eyes and heart will be wide open and I'm going to take in every single moment.''

Seven skaters will be making their Games debut.

Head coach Sebastien Cros said he's excited about the team.

"We have a good mix of experience and youth, and we showed great potential in the first part of the season thanks to a bold and proactive strategy in our races,'' he said. "The objective will be to approach the Olympic events with the same energy in order to replicate this level of performance.''

The team's other athletes are Montreal's Maxime Laoun and Alyson Charles, Steven Dubois (Terrebonne, Que.), Jordan Pierre-Gilles (Sherbrooke, Que.), Danae Blais (Chateauguay, Que.), Florence Brunelle (Trois-Rivieres, Que.) and Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.).

The alternates are William Dandjinous and Camille de Serres-Rainville, both of Montreal.

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