BY DAN MCNEE
WINNIPEG – Once Paisley Perrie starts getting regular training time on a long-track speed skating oval, the competition better look out.
The 16-year-old Harriston native was once again dominant at her latest contest in Winnipeg earlier this month, claiming the overall gold in the open women category at the Canadian Age Class Long Track Championships. Perrie took first in the 500, 1,000, 1,500 and 3,000-metre distances, racing against women from across the country as old as 29.
“She only knows two things,” said father Alex of his daughter. “That the sun’s coming up in the morning and that she’s going to the Olympics one day.
“She has a goal and she’s working towards that goal.”
The Norwell District Secondary School student has focused her attention on the long-track circuit this year (she also trains and competes in short-track and in-line skating), although it is difficult for her to train locally as there is no facility nearby equipped with the specialty ice surface she requires.
While other skaters might get on an oval three or four times a week, Perrie must make do with strength training, accessing local rinks and planning ahead to gain ice time on ovals throughout the country. She is hoping to train at the Calgary Olympic Oval later this year while completing online school courses.
“I’m just really excited to see what happens when she has the proper means to train,” said her father.
Next up, Perrie hopes to take part in the North Americans in Salt Lake City, Utah at the end of the month, along with the fourth Canada Cup Series in Calgary starting March 8.