Canada’s short track speed skating team will be without Michael Gilday at the world championships in Shanghai, China fro March 9 to 11.
Gilday, of Yellowknife, NWT, is on the sidelines with his arm in a sling after fracturing his shoulder during training at a World Cup in Moscow on Jan. 30.
Gilday’s first method of recovery: as soon as he landed at home in Montreal, he drank some maple syrup straight from the can.
The fracture to the ball and socket joint in his shoulder ended his season. He underwent surgery in Montreal, where surgeons found the injury more extensive than originally believed.
Gilday had won the world spot at national championships in Saguenay, Que., in January. And he’d had a good season, winning a bronze medal at a World Cup in Japan and silver at a Saguenay World Cup during a 1,000-metre event in which Canadian skaters swept the podium for the first time since 1994.
Gilday was part of the men’s relay team that won gold at the world championships a year ago in Sheffield, England.
Replacing Gilday on the powerful team is Guillaume Bastille of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., who won a gold medal in the 1,000 metres last weekend at a World Cup in Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Bastille will compete in individual events, while Francois-Louis Tremblay of Alma, Que., will be available for the relay.
The team will be lead by Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Saint-Julie, Que., Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., and Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta.
On the women’s side, Marie-Eve Drolet of Laterriere, Que., Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., Marianne St. Gelais of St. Felicien, Que., Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., and Gabrielle Waddell of Red Deer, Alta., are heading to Shanghai.
St. Gelais withdrew from skating the four individual distances, and is available for the relay. The 22-year-old missed the Canadian championships in mid-January because of a back injury. She did compete in the past two World Cups in February as a way of continuing her rehabilitation, but cannot commit to competing in up to 15 races over a three-day period for individual events.
St. Gelais rose to prominence at the Vancouver Olympics, where she won two silver medals, although she had never won Olympic or world championship medals previously in her career. She and her boyfriend, Charles Hamelin were among Hello Canada’s 50 most beautiful people in 2010.
Last season, St. Gelais was the overall 500-metre World Cup champion.
Maltais and Drolet, who won a silver medal at a 1,000 metre race at the most recent World Cup in The Netherlands, will compete in individual distances.