Canadian Charles Hamelin calls it a career at Montreal World Championships

Decorated international speed skater takes home bronze on ‘home ice’ in final race of his career

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Apr 10, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Charles Hamelin (CAN) gives his farewell speech during the 2022 ISU World Short Track Championships at Maurice Richard Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Charles Hamelin (CAN) gives his farewell speech during the 2022 ISU World Short Track Championships at Maurice Richard Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Four-time Olympic champion Charles Hamelin ended his career on Sunday by competing in his final short track race in Montreal. In front of friends and family, the 37-year old bid adieu to a storied career and the home ice crowd.

“It is one of the best things that happened to me. The chance to finish at home, with my family in the stands, is the greatest feeling. It is almost like any Olympics I went to.”

In his last race, the same 5,000-meter relay in which he won his fourth gold medal in Beijing two months ago - Hamelin led the Canadian relay to a bronze medal finish. Canada indeed provided the perfect backdrop to call it quits.

Apr 10, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Team Canada lead by Charles Hamelin (CAN) and Kim Boutin (CAN) spray the athletes with Champagne to close the season during the 2022 ISU World Short Track Championships at Maurice Richard Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Team Canada lead by Charles Hamelin (CAN) and Kim Boutin (CAN) spray the athletes with Champagne to close the season during the 2022 ISU World Short Track Championships at Maurice Richard Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The five time Olympian took a final curtain call lap with his young daughter in his arms.

“It means a lot to me. She is a little older, but maybe she didn’t understand what was happening. But I am sure she enjoyed the moment with me. It was one of the things I wanted to do, and I am glad it happened here in Montreal,” Hamelin said.

Nicknamed the “Locomotive de Sainte-Julie” Hamelin made his Olympic debut in Turin in 2006, taking home a silver medal in the 1500 meter relay. Four years later he would take home two golds at the Vancouver 2010 games, in the individual 500m and 1500 meter relay. The bookend Olympic golds in the 1500m relay, a fitting end for the twenty year veteran on the international circuit.

A Hamelin highlight of his Olympic career was when he and hockey player Marie-Philip Poulin were named as Canada’s flagbearers during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

2022 Beijing Olympics - Opening Ceremony - National Stadium, Beijing, China - February 4, 2022. Flag bearers Marie-Philip Poulin of Canada and Charles Hamelin of Canada lead their contingent during the athletes parade at the opening ceremony. REUTERS/David W Cerny
2022 Beijing Olympics - Opening Ceremony - National Stadium, Beijing, China - February 4, 2022. Flag bearers Marie-Philip Poulin of Canada and Charles Hamelin of Canada lead their contingent during the athletes parade at the opening ceremony. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Hamelin reflected on how being part of his final Team Canada really felt like family.

“It is really incredible. For me, that family is one of the biggest reasons why I’m still here and why I love what I do. Every time I would walk into an opening ceremony, I would look at the flag bearer as a role model. To be named flag bearer is something I can now check off my to-do list.”

2022 Beijing Olympics - Short Track Speed Skating - Men's 1500m - Quarterfinals - Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China - February 9, 2022. Charles Hamelin of Canada reacts after competing. REUTERS/Toby Melville
2022 Beijing Olympics - Short Track Speed Skating - Men's 1500m - Quarterfinals - Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China - February 9, 2022. Charles Hamelin of Canada reacts after competing. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Hamelin also won gold in the 1,500m at Sochi in 2014 and a 5,000m relay bronze in PyeongChang in 2018. He finished his Olympic career with six total medals: four gold, one silver and one bronze.

In addition to his Olympic success, he won an astonishing 14 world titles, claimed the overall men’s title at the 2018 World Championships in Montreal and led Canada to five world relay titles. He also has 14 silver medals and 14 bronze medals, to go with his world championships golds.

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