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St. Anne Catholic School's Canadian Idol

Canadian Olympic Speed Skater, Kristina Groves visited St. Anne Catholic School in Hanmer to chat with students and to put faces to the names that she has been corresponding with over the last several months.

April 26, 2006 - Olympic Speed Skater, Kristina Groves visited St. Anne Catholic School in Hanmer on Friday to chat with students and to put faces to the names that she has been corresponding with over the last several months. The two-time Silver Medalist (1500 metre and Team Pursuit) has been pen pals with the Grade One and Two classes at St. Anne since the fall of this year. Kristina has been corresponding with the students on a regular basis teaching them about her exciting sport, and her training.

From the onset of her arrival at the Sudbury Airport at 8:25 a.m. last Friday, Kristina spent the entire day with the St. Anne Catholic School students. Her itinerary included an introduction to the school community followed by skating at the Tom Davies arena in Lively and meeting with the entire student body in the late afternoon before returning to her hometown of Ottawa.

When asked by a Grade Two student why she decided to take up speed skating, Katrina replied that, "It was Gaeten Boucher, a Canadian Olympic speed skater in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary that first inspired me to become a speed skater. From the minute I saw him skate I knew that I wanted to do what he had done . . . I wanted to fly on ice . . . my dream was to compete in the Olympics for Canada some day and bring back a medal. So although I was only eleven years old, I went home and told my mom that I wanted to take up speed skating . . . eighteen years later at the age of 29, I was lucky enough to be presented with not one but two silver medals in Turin. Never give up on your dream," stated Groves to a captivated audience. "With enough passion, dedication and commitment, dreams can come true."

Groves' presentation to the students included a slide show of her stay and competition at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, as well as an overview of the equipment, and training required in order to become a speed skater, followed by a question and answer period.



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