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World’s best speed skaters start arriving in Calgary ahead of championships

Calgary’s Olympic Oval will again host some of the world’s best speed skaters as the ISU World Speed Skating Championships nears.

The international event, which will run from February 15-18, is returning to the city for the first time since 1998.

“It’s very special. I got to skate my very first senior World Cup on home ice, so to be able to do the World Championships is really big,” said Maddison Pearman, a long track speed skater for Canada.

The last time the big event was hosted in Calgary, Catriona Le May Doan won big for Canada. Years later, the crop of skaters she inspired are hoping home ice advantage is true for them, too.

“It’s so special to, not only make it, but also to get to do it at home and get to share with friends and family,” said Anders Johnson, who will compete for Canada in the men’s team event.

Before the real competition begins, members of the media, Olympic alumni and some of Calgary’s emergency responders hit the ice — some literally. The group took lessons from Team Canada athletes to be able to take a spin on the Oval’s ice.

Team members at a media event for the ISU World Speed Skating Championships, which start next Thursday in Calgary

Jason Myslicki, who competed in two Winter Olympics in Nordic combined skiing, won the ‘Celebrity Dash on Ice’ on Thursday.

The real racing starts next Thursday and tickets start at $10 for children, $15 for adults.

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