Lets’ all cheer for our Manitoba skaters – Alexa Scott, Tyson Langelaar, and Heather McLean
Type: Press Release Topic: Beijing 2022
CALGARY (January 17, 2022)– Speed Skating Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced 16 Canadian long track speed skaters nominated to compete at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
The athletes earned their positions based on their rankings from four ISU World Cup events this fall, where the quota spots for the Canadian contingent were also secured.
A total of eight men and eight women will line up at the start wearing the maple leaf throughout Beijing 2022, just short of the maximum quota of nine athletes per gender.
Long track speed skating is Canada’s most successful sport at the Olympic Winter Games, with a storied history that includes 37 medals.
The 2022 national team will look to build on a successful Olympic qualification campaign – where they earned an impressive total of 24 World Cup podium finishes – to top its most recent Olympic medal tallies (two at PyeongChang 2018 and two at Sochi 2014).
Sport: Speed Skating – Long Track
Games: Beijing 2022
Born: April 3, 2001
Home Province: Manitoba
Hometown: Clandeboye, Manitoba
Club: Westman then Interlake Speed Skating Club
Alexa Scott represented Canada at the ISU World Junior Championships in 2018, 2019, and 2020. In her third appearance, she won the all-round bronze medal thanks to her top-five finishes in the 500m and 1000m and top-10 finishes in the 1500m and 3000m.
Earlier in 2019-20, Scott won team sprint gold in the neo-senior event at the ISU Junior World Cup in Enschede, Netherlands, followed a day later by a silver medal in the junior 1500m. More medals followed at the Junior World Cup in Minsk, where she won silver in the junior 1000m and 1500m.
Just before her last junior worlds, Scott competed in her first senior international event, the Four Continents Championships, where she won silver with the team pursuit and just missed the podium with her fourth-place finishes in the 1000m and 1500m. After that success in early 2020, Scott would not compete again until the fall of 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the Canadian Long Track Championships in October 2021, Scott posted top-five finishes in the 1000m, 1500m, and 3000m and was named to her first senior World Cup team.
Scott represented Team Manitoba at the 2019 Canada Winter Games where she won gold medals in the 1000m, 3000m and mass start.
Notable International Results
ISU World Junior Championships: 2020 – BRONZE (overall), 5th (500m), 4th (1000m), 8th (1500m), 10th (3000m), 4th (team pursuit), 6th (team sprint); 2019 – 5th (overall), 22nd (500m), 8th (1000m), 8th (1500m), 13th (3000m), 18th (mass start), 5th (team pursuit); 2018 – 18th (overall), 34th (500m), 28th (1000m), 27th (1500m), 21st (3000m), 5th (team pursuit), 5th (sprint)
ISU Four Continents Championships: 2020 – 10th (500m), 4th (1000m), 4th (1500m), SILVER (team pursuit)
A Little More About Alexa
Getting into the Sport: Started speed skating at age 9 after switching over from figure skating… In her first year as a speed skater, she watched the Canadian women win multiple medals at Vancouver 2010, inspiring her own Olympic dream.
Provincial coach Tyler Williamson-Derraugh has been her biggest inspiration because of his passion for speed skating.
Outside Interests: Enjoys watching other winter sports (especially curling), cooking (especially breakfast), baking, hiking, reading… Self-describes as a speed skating super fan.
Odds and Ends: Favourite motto: “This is exactly what I wanted my entire life. I’m ready for it” -Nathan Chen.
Games Beijing 2022
Born February 17, 1999
Birthplace Winnipeg, Manitoba
Home Province Manitoba
Club St James (now WCSSC)
Tyson Langelaar had a highly successful junior career, winning multiple medals at the World Junior Championships. In his first appearance in 2016, he won a silver medal in the team pursuit. Shortly thereafter, he fractured his ankle, but recovered for the following season.
After missing just one podium in five races at the Canadian Junior Championships, he won the all-round bronze medal at the 2017 World Junior Championships where he also won bronze in the 1000m and 1500m as well as a silver in the team sprint. He moved up to the all-round silver medal at the 2018 World Juniors.
Langelaar started the 2018-19 season by winning the neo-senior 1000m and 1500m, as well as a silver in the 3000m, at an ISU Junior World Cup in Poland. He competed in his first senior ISU World Cup events in February 2019 and was an alternate for the 2019 World Single Distances Championships.
He joined the World Cup team full time in 2019-20. At the World Cup Final in Heerenveen in March 2020, Langelaar finished fourth in the 1500m to help him finish the season ranked sixth overall in the distance. He had won his first World Cup medal, a bronze, in December 2019 as a member of the team pursuit in Nagano.
Langelaar competed at his first World Single Distances Championships in 2020, finishing fourth with the team pursuit and ninth in the 1500m. He also competed at the World Allround Championships for the first time, finishing second in the 500m and 13th overall.
After not competing in the bubble in Heerenveen in January and February 2021, Langelaar returned to international competition in the fall of 2021 after setting personal bests in the 500m and 1000m at the Canadian Long Track Championships.
Notable International Results
ISU World Single Distances Championships: 2020 – 9th (1500m), 4th (team pursuit)
ISU World All-round Championships: 2020 – 13th (overall), SILVER (500m), 11th (1500m), 21st (5000m)
ISU World Junior Championship: 2018 – SILVER (overall), 12th (500m), 6th (1000m), 5th (1500m), 7th (5000m), 5th (team pursuit), DQ (team sprint); 2017 – BRONZE (overall), 17th (500m), BRONZE (1000m), BRONZE (1500m), 15th (5000m), 5th (team pursuit), SILVER (team sprint); 2016 – 39th (500m), 40th (1000m), 17th (1500m), 17th (5000m), SILVER (team pursuit), 4th (team sprint)
A Little More About Tyson
Getting into the Sport: Started speed skating at age 7 after watching fellow Winnipegger Cindy Klassen win five medals at Turin 2006… Almost quit after his first season but on the last day to register for his second year, he and his dad rushed to the rink to sign up… Knew he wanted to be an Olympian after watching Canada’s men’s team pursuit win gold at Vancouver 2010.
Outside Interests: Ambassador for KidSport… Studying part time at the University of Calgary… Enjoys golfing, ultimate frisbee, cycling, running, in-lining.
Odds and Ends: Favourite motto: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t” – Jerry Rice… Will only wear one specific model of racing glasses… Skated with Team Manitoba at the 2015 and 2019 Canada Winter Games… Received the Roland Michener Award at the 2019 Canada Games, given to the athlete who exemplifies leadership, cooperation, and excellence…
Born January 4, 1993
Birthplace Winnipeg, Manitoba
Home Province Manitoba
Hometown Winnipeg, Manitoba
Club St James (now WCSSC)
Heather McLean made her World Cup debut in 2013-14, competing in the first two stops of the circuit. The following season she was on the World Cup roster full time and competed at both the World Single Distances Championships and World Sprint Championships.
McLean had a breakout season in 2015-16, earning her first individual World Cup medal, a 500m bronze, in Inzell, Germany in December. She added two more 500m bronzes before the season was done, including one at the World Cup Final in Heerenveen, Netherlands with her parents in attendance. At the World Sprint Championships that year, she finished second in one of the 500m races.
But that summer, something felt off as she tried to resume training. Emotionally exhausted and unmotivated, she was eventually diagnosed with anxiety and depression. In researching how to cope with mental illness, she realized the importance of being honest about her feelings and now focuses a lot on recovery and self-care. With that fresh mindset, McLean posted her career-best finish at the World Single Distances Championships in 2017 when she finished fifth in the 500m at the Gangneung Oval in PyeongChang to be Canada’s top skater in the event. She was also the top Canadian woman at the 2017 World Sprint Championships with her career-best seventh-place finish.
McLean had served as a forerunner at Vancouver 2010, skating around the Richmond Olympic Oval to test the timing system before each event, an experience she has called the “most amazing three weeks” of her life. She made her official Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018 where she competed in the 500m and 1000m.
McLean won her first career medal at the World Single Distances Championships in 2019 when she captured silver with the team sprint. In January 2021, she earned her first individual World Cup medal in five years when she won a 500m bronze in the bubble in Heerenveen. She went on to post her best individual result in four years at the World Single Distances Championships, finishing seventh in the 500m. While others might have struggled with the isolation forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, McLean believes she thrived while training on her own in 2020 as she built up her self-confidence and realized she was the only one who could push her to achieve her goals.
Notable International Results/Olympic Highlights
2018 PyeongChang Speed Skating – Long Track 500m – Women 14
2018 PyeongChang Speed Skating – Long Track 1,000m – Women 25
Olympic Winter Games: 2018 – 14th (500m), 25th (1000m)
ISU World Single Distances Championships: 2021 – 7th (500m), 9th (1000m); 2020 – 14th (500m), 19th (1000m); 2019 – 10th (500m), 12th (1000m), SILVER (team sprint); 2017 – 5th (500m), 19th (1000m); 2016 – 9th (500m), 23rd (mass start); 2015 – 22nd (500m)
ISU World Sprint Championships: 2020 – 16th (overall); 2019 – 12th (overall); 2017 – 7th (overall); 2016 – 12th (overall); 2015 – 23rd (overall)
A Little More About Heather
Getting into the Sport: Started skating at age 2 and followed her older brothers into competitive speed skating a year later… Training on an outdoor oval in Winnipeg, practice would be split into mini sessions where they would do a couple of laps before going inside to warm up their feet and drink hot chocolate before heading out into the bitter cold again; their cheeks and noses were covered in Vaseline to prevent frostbite… Had her dream of competing for Team Canada sparked by watching speed skating greats such as Catriona Le May Doan, Susan Auch and Cindy Klassen compete on TV.
Outside Interests: Enrolled in sociology at the University of Calgary… Interested in a career in nursing or health and wellness, specifically nutrition… Does a lot of cooking/baking and thinks it would be fun to host a cooking show… Ambassador for Fast and Female…