Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops is one of 10 athletes named to Canada's Olympic short-track speedskating team.
They were the first athletes officially named to the team that will compete at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, although it’s not quite official just yet.
They need to secure spots in each event for Canada at a pair of World Cup meets in the fall, although that should be a formality. Canada is one of the world’s top short-track countries.
They can place up to three skaters in each of three individual races and qualify a four-person squad in each of the men’s and women’s relays.
They need only to finish in the top-32 in the 500 and 1,000-metre races, and the top-36 in the 1,500 metres. For the relay, it’s top eight.
Still, anything can happen in short-track, where even the world’s best sometimes go flying into the barriers from the slightest touch with an opponent. A mishap in qualifying for the men’s 1,000-metres left Canada with only two spots in that race in Vancouver.
Charles Hamelin and his brother Francois, of Ste-Julie, Que., were joined by Olivier Jean of Montreal, Michael Gilday of Yellowknife and newcomer Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., on the men’s team.
The women’s squad has Hewitt, Marianne St-Gelais of Ste-Julie, Jessica Gregg of Edmonton and Marie-Eve Drolet and Valerie Maltais, both natives of Chicoutimi, Que.