Two months ago 18-year old Cooper Emin moved west from Cole Harbour to train in the Olympic Oval Speed Skating program and study Environmental Science at the University of Calgary. After racing this past weekend at the Oval International Competition in Calgary he now holds the fastest 500m time skated by a Canadian Junior male this season with a clocking of 0:36.95.
After spending the past four seasons honing his skills on the Halifax Emera Oval and his graduation from Auburn Drive High School Emin made the decision to move west to further his athletic and academic pursuits.
Emin has settled into his new training and school routine in Calgary. He attributes his early season success to training and support over the summer with the Atlantic Long Track Program and the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, and the additional skating opportunities on the Oval.
“I came here in pretty good shape. It’s the ice time. It’s just being able to get on the ice. It’s the same stuff (on ice) we did at home except I’m able to do more of it.”
He achieved the season best junior time in his second 500m race of the weekend after initially setting a personal best of 0:37.13 in his first 500m.
“I knew the weekend would go okay. My training on Thursday was excellent and my coach thought I could go sub 0:37.00.” said Emin.
In addition to setting the fastest 500m time by a Canadian junior male this season he also set new personal bests in the 1000m (1:12.92) and 1500m (1:52.06), which stand as the second and third fastest Canadian Junior times in those distances for the season.
Of his new achievements Emin notes “it is pretty cool. It is a steppingstone to my ultimate goal of the Junior World Championships this season.”
Last season Emin placed 8th overall at the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships in Winnipeg. This year he is looking for a top-four ranking at the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships in Saskatoon on January 27-29, 2017. If he does he can be one of four skaters selected to represent Canada at the Junior World Championships in Helsinki Finland on February 17-19, 2017.
Todd Landon, Long Track Coach with the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, is also optimistic about Emin’s result and what that means for developing speed skater in Atlantic Canada.
“It has been a pleasure seeing Cooper continue to develop after the hard work he has put in over the past 4 years and the successes he has already accomplished. Having a skater from the region attain the level of Junior Worlds is a great achievement and provides a path for others to follow.”
Emin’s next competitions will be Canada Cup #1 in Quebec City on December 9-11, 2016, and Canada Cup #2 in Calgary on January 3-6, 2017 before the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships.