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Delta skater takes the fast track to 2023 Canada Winter Games

Seaquam graduate has been training at the University of Olympic Oval in Calgary as part of a high performance short track speed skating group
North Delta's Ryan Bolton is heading to PEI in February as a member of Team B.C. for the Canada Winter Games

Taking his passion for speed skating over the Rockies is certainly paying off for Ryan Bolton.

The Seaquam Secondary graduate has been named to Team B.C. that will be heading to Prince Edward Island in February to participate at the 2023 Canada Winter Games.

Skaters will compete alongside provincial and territorial teams from across the country. The multi-sport games is always distinctive in being held every four years. This quadrennial is particularly notable as skaters have faced a variety of challenges and disruptions in training and competing throughout the course of the pandemic.

Bolton secured his trip to the Maritimes at last month’s Team B.C. Short Track Selection Trials at the Richmond Olympic Oval where he showcased his overall ability in the 500, 1,000 and 1,500 metre events.

The results were hardly a surprise given his 2021 honours included being award B.C. Skater of the Year and B.C.’s Top Junior Skater. However, Bolton has hardly been resting on his laurels, believing his selection was a certainty.

It was back in the summer when he made the decision to train at the University of Calgary Olympic Oval where he is among 25 skaters in the short track program under coaches Elizabeth Ward and Maggie Qi.

The Team B.C. Trials gave Bolton the opportunity to spend the holidays at home before heading back to Calgary where he will continue to train at Stage 2 of the Elite Athlete Pathway Program before departing to PEI.

Bolton was playing organized hockey up to the age of 10 when he made the transition over to speed skating, joining the Richmond Rockets.

Speed skating takes place on a 100-metre overall track on a regulation size hockey rink. With high speeds and tight corners, boards must be covered by protective mats at least 20cm thick.

“I just enjoyed the skating part more than the technical side of the game with the stick and puck,” explained Bolton. “I would describe myself as a sprinter as I certainly enjoy the short distance events.”