Former Westman Speed Skating Club member Kyle Parrott competed for Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
For a guy whose mission is to get around the speedskating oval as quickly as possible, Kyle Parrott isn’t in any hurry.
The 27-year-old from Minnedosa is trying to reach and perhaps even exceed his past accomplishments, which included competing for Canada in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Having taken a season off following the Olympics, Parrott is still on the long track back to the top and although he didn’t make Canada’s World Cup team for the first half of the season, he’s happy with where he stands right now.
"(Preparation is) always done in a four-year quadrennial, so the year after the Olympics is more of a building year and since I took that year off, everything got kind of shifted back," said Parrott, who started his training in earnest last season and is back on Speedskating Canada’s development team. "It’s always long-term and the eventual goal is the Olympics and that’s when you want to peak."
"Right now things are actually pretty much exactly where I want them," he continued, "just really building a base for fitness and then as it gets closer and closer to the time of the Olympics, I’ll kinda pull back the fitness a bit and add more strength and speed work."
After finishing ninth in both the 500 metres and the 1,000m at the Canadian Fall World Cup Long Track Trials, Parrott has spent most of the first half of the season focusing on his training and his studies at the University of Calgary, where he’s pursuing an engineering degree. He did skate in the first Canada Cup event of the season a month ago in Quebec City, placing fourth in the first 500m heat before winning the second one. He was sixth in both 1,000m heats.
Parrott has a chance to kickstart his comeback this week at the Canadian Single Distances Championships, which start today in Calgary. The event is a qualifier for both the second half of the World Cup season as well as this year’s world sprint championships. And with the chance to qualify for the national team by finishing in the top four, it’s one of Parrott’s top priorities right now.
"It’s between semesters in school, so for the last month pretty much my whole life has been put on hold in order to train for this one competition," he said. "And I say this last month but, really, I take only two classes at a time so the last year-and-a-half has been preparing for competitions like this."
While Parrott has been working feverishly to get back to the top, he’s got some company at the Olympic Oval this season from another graduate of the Westman Speedskating Club in Hewson Elliott, an 18-year-old Brandonite who is trying to crack the national junior team. Parrott said there is always plenty of support for young skaters in the tight-knit community of athletes, but added that he’s been keeping an eye on Elliott in particular.
"I see him pretty much every day at the oval," said Parrott said. "… I expect great things from him. He looks like he’s coming along really well. I always watch his results in training and obviously he’s a younger guy so … it takes years to develop as an athlete. But I mean, for him, I’d say definitely things look really good."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 3, 2013