Whitehorse speedskater Troy Henry is getting a shot at Sochi.
The 24-year-old long-track skater has qualified for the Team Canada’s Olympic trials, Speed Skating Canada announced last week.
“I was pretty happy about it,” said Henry. “Most of it was from a competition I had in October – the World Cup trials that I skated pretty well at. I got seventh there and that gave me a lot of points towards getting to the Olympic trials.”
Henry will vie for a spot on Canada’s Olympic team bound for the Sochi Games in two distances. He will race in the 5,000-metre trials Dec. 28 and the 10,000-metre on Jan. 3 at the Calgary Olympic Oval, where he trains in the Calgary Oval Program.
“No other races. I’m not as fast in my other distances,” said Henry, who is a member of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club. “My next fastest distance would be the 1,500, but it still needs a little bit of work.”
Henry qualified for his first Olympic trials through his performances at the World Cup Long Track Trials at the Calgary Oval in October.
In his first meet of the season, Henry placed seventh out of 13 skaters, with a time of 14:11.59, in the 10,000-metre. It is still the only time he has raced the 10-kilometre event this season. He also took 11th in the 5,000-metre at the World Cup trials.
More recently Henry had success against an international field of skaters. He took fifth place in the 5,000-metre in the 2013 CanAm International at the Calgary Oval two weeks ago.
In the event he set a season-best time of 6:42.72 and was the third Canadian in the field of 35 skaters in the race, just ahead of a skater from Belgium in sixth and a Polish skater in seventh.
Henry also raced to 17th in a field of 103 skaters in the 1,500-metre and 23rd out of 118 skaters in the 500-metre.
He placed 12th in the 5,000-metre at the North American Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, last March.
He finished last season’s Canada Cup series with seventh in the 10,000-metre and 20th in the 5,000-metre in Calgary.
A background in cycling has helped him in the longer distance events.
“I do well with aerobic training … It’s what I’m good at,” said Henry. “I respond well to training for that kind of distance.”
Last season marked Henry’s first full season competing in long-track since making the jump from short-track.
Henry won over a dozen medals in short-track in four Arctic Winter Games appearances between 2002 and 2008.
He has also represented the Yukon at three Canada Games, including two summer Games in cycling. On the bike Henry won the 2011 Tour of Anchorage and the 2012 Tour of Juneau.
“(My New Year’s Eve) will be really quiet,” said Henry. “I probably won’t be going home for Christmas because of it.”
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