Ponoka speed skater, Maddison Pearman, took gold in the World Speed Skating Championships Team Sprint in Calgary last week.  

Pearman has been speed skating for most of her life and now competes in individual distance and team races.  

“It was my first gold medal this year, and it was very was very thrilling to have that and share that with those girls, it was really exciting,” Pearman said. “We were just excited that we were able to put a good race together and that race couldn't have gone any better regardless of the results, we were really excited and really happy.”  

She explained that her team had to watch multiple races, before they officially won. 

“I knew that we had put down a really good time and it was going to be hard to beat. We were against the Americans, and they had beaten us the whole season and we kind of crushed them,” she said. “I was really happy when we crossed the line and saw that." 

To prepare for the race, Pearman trained individually and then came together with her team for the event. 

Maddison Pearman Speed Skating Team.Photo by Dave Holland.

“We have a really good group of girls that just somehow click really well,” Pearman said. “We practiced a few times and there's a lot of key parts that you need to get down pat before you race, and that's what we did.”  

Pearman explained that her team practiced a technique called the “Slingshot” where one skater swings another skater behind to gain speed quickly.  

“We do it the best, by far,” she said.  

For 11 months of the year, Pearman is training individually with base training starting in the summer, and when the season starts, she trains through racing.  

“The intensity stays up, but the volume goes,” Pearman said. “We've had six World Cups this year, all across the world, so a lot of the training has been just racing.”  

Typically, Pearman competes in between four and five races during each event. 

“A lot of the training comes from just racing and learning from each race,” she said. “At this point of the season, it's mostly just ice, some bikes, and a lot of weight training, getting ready to be super explosive.”  

In addition to training, Pearman ensures rest is prioritized. 

“I’ve learned every season what works best and how to peak properly at the right time and skate the fastest when I need to,” she said.  “This year by far is my best season. My coaches have done a really good job of making sure I've been prepared for all the right competitions and that seemed to work out this past weekend.”  

However, Pearman’s success hasn’t been achieved without some obstacles.  

“The last World Cup this season went really bad. I fell, and I took out my teammate and it was just an awful, awful race,” Pearman said. “We had a lot of expectations that we would win, we were skating well, and it didn’t go as planned. Once you fall, especially in the beginning of a race, it's very hard to get it out of your brain, and not continually think about it.”  

When Pearman fell during the race, she felt like she had let her teammates down, and was worried she would fall again during the team race.  

“I was struggling with that, and I think the girls didn't want to say anything, but I knew they were a little worried too,” she said. “It was more of a mental thing because we were all physically skating well, it was just that mental, and working on making sure we were all not worrying about it.”  

Throughout the season, Pearman is thankful for the support she’s received from her coaches, teammates, family, and the community  

“The community has been really great, and it's really exciting to have people reach out and want to talk about it,” she said.   

Going forward, Pearman is preparing to travel to Germany for the World Sprint Championships in March.