CANOE NAGANO '98 ISP DIRECTORY
Sylvain Bouchard - Long Track Speed Skating
Sylvain Bouchard, one of Canada's most gifted and charismatic speed
skaters, has been a model of inconsistency throughout his career. Last
season for example he won his first World Cup gold in the 1,000 metres at
the season opener in Seoul. The next day, in another 1,000 race against the
same competition, he placed 14th, one of the worst results of his career.
Injury and sickness forced him to miss the world sprints but he ended the
season on a high note placing fourth at the World Cup final.
The computer management student at Universite Laval in Quebec City
traditionally delivers in the big events. He placed an unexpected fifth at
the Lillehammer Olympics, earned bronze the following season at the world
championships and set a world record in the 1,000 at the 1996 Canadians, a
mark that was eclipsed the next day by his teammate Kevin Overland.
Bouchard's success usually depends on the quality of his starts. He has
worked extremely hard on that part of his skating developing with his coach
Robert Tremblay new training methods to improve his starting technique.
Bouchard began speed skating at age five after watching Gaetan Boucher
compete at the 1976 Olympics. He also played hockey until age 12 and was a
short track speed skater until 16. For the past eight years he has taught
power skating at his own hockey school in Loretteville and at one time
advised players on the Quebec Nordiques.