Lone Yukoner taking on older skaters in Prince George

If Haines Junction's Michael Ritchie was born five weeks later, he wouldn't be competing at the Canada Winter Games this week.

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.

If Haines Junction’s Michael Ritchie was born five weeks later, he wouldn’t be competing at the Canada Winter Games this week.

Ritchie is one of just three 14-year-olds competing in short-track speedskating, an under-20 competition, in Prince George.

He’s young, and in some ways all alone. He’s the only Yukon speedskater competing at the Games.

“It’s a great learning experience,” said Ritchie. “It’s a bigger competition so I’m seeing how big the playing field is and how much competition there is from other places that I don’t see much of.

“When you skate with higher-lever skaters, there are different techniques and strategies they use … I really only skate in western Canada, so to see Quebec (skaters), it’s quite something.”

Ritchie, who won three silver and a bronze at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games, is looking at the big picture. He considers his Games experience in Prince George as preparation for the 2019 Games in Red Deer, which he will still be eligible for.

“I still have another one I can go to and I’ll be older and I’ll be at the older end of the group,” said Ritchie.

“He’s doing well. The whole goal coming here was to get some experience because he’s actually eligible for the next Canada Games too,” said coach Phil Hoffman. “So we just want him to get some experience and try to get some PBs – and he got two of them today.”

Ritchie is five years younger than many of his competitors, but he’s holding his own.

He placed 41st out of 49 skaters in the 1,500-metre on Sunday. All eight skaters behind Ritchie were all at least one year older than him.

He then set personal bests in two preliminary races on Monday. Ritchie finished the 500-metre with a time of 49.948 seconds and then the 1,000-metre at 1:43.720. He will next jostle for final positions in those events Wednesday and Thursday.

His goals for the rest of the week: “Some more PBs would be nice and to do well in my races, not fall or anything,” said Ritchie.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read