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Isabelle CHAREST

Canada
TeamCanada
Short Track Speed SkatingShort Track Speed Skating
Olympic Medals
1S
2B
Games Participations3
First Olympic GamesLillehammer 1994
Year of Birth1971

Biography

Isabelle Charest joined the national team in 1988 and began to rise in prominence as a Canadian short track speed skater in the early 1990s as she found more and more success in international events. She first appeared at the Winter Olympics in 1994, taking seventh in the 500m event, sixth in the 1,000m competition, and a silver medal in the 3,000m relay. The following year she began a run as Canadian champion that would last until 1999, and was named the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year by Speed Skating Canada, but it was in 1996 that she truly made history in the sport. Not only did she place third overall in that year’s World Championships, with gold and silver in the 500m and 1,000m events respectively, but she set a new world record in the former competition that she would hold as long as she was Canadian champion. She soon broke her own record, however, and became the first woman to skate the 500m in under 45 seconds, officially with a time of 44.86 seconds in March 1997, and unofficially (although it was counted as a Canadian record) three months prior with a time of 44.77 seconds. With this title to her name, it was no surprise that she was once again named Canadian Female Athlete of the Year that season, and her success followed her to the 1998 Winter Olympics, where she took home 3,000m relay bronze. She had the fasted 500m time during this tournament, but fell during the final and ended up in seventh place, the same ranking she received in the 1,000m event.

Charest then decided to take a break from competition to focus on obtaining her Bachelor’s in nutrition from the University of Montreal. By the end of the year, however, she was back on the ice and trying her hand at the long track. By mid-1999 she had switched to short track once more and was preparing for her next Winter Games. Although she took another leave during 2001, she captured another bronze medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in the 3,000m relay, as well as placing fourth in the 500m event, prior to retiring. She is a member of the Speed Skating Canada Hall of Fame and now owns the Cardio Energy Center in Granby, Quebec.

Olympic Results

Athlete Olympic Results Content

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