Dutton back skating at the World Cup level

Sochi Olympic athlete with local connection is back from retirement and competing at a high level

Will Dutton

After a brief retirement from speed skating, Will Dutton has come back and been nothing short of excellent in his World Cup events so far.

He won the first World Cup medal of his career last week, bronze in the 500 metre in Calgary Nov. 15, and would go on to medal in three more races including silvers in two other 500 metre races and gold in the team sprint event.

His previous best finish for long-track skating was seventh at the World Sprint Championships in 2014.

For Dutton, who hails from Humboldt, Saskatchewan but has family in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area, his retirement came after a bit of a let down at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

“I had a bit of post Olympic blues,” Dutton said. “I felt like I wanted to do other things with my life. I hadn’t medaled and I was a bit down on myself.”

Coming out of retirement has proven to be a good decision, one that was made a little easier with the addition of Kevin Crockett as the new sprint coach for Speed Skating Canada.

“I found out that he got the job and thought it’s worth a shot to see what could happen,” Dutton said. Maybe I’d be a little faster, maybe I wouldn’t, but I had to try. Obviously, now I’ve shown I’m a competitor and this is where I want to be.”

During his retirement, Dutton had aspirations for a career in carpentry, designing and building backyard ponds to be more specific. While this was in the works, he enrolled in a firefighting program before deciding to give speed skating another shot.

“It was a shame when Will hung up his skates,” sprint coach Kevin Crockett said. “When you see a guy retire in his prime, I just thought it was an injustice.”

After a perfect start to his comeback, Dutton has his eyes on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“It was pretty crazy,” Dutton said after wrapping up his fourth medal in four races. “I really wanted it, because I wanted to come up with a strong finish to end the North American string of World Cups and make it four for four.”

After his successful start in the World Cup, Dutton has been named to the Speed Skating Canada team that will travel to Europe for the next two World Cup events. The third World Cup event will take place in Inzell, Germany (Dec. 4-6). The fourth World Cup event will follow on Dec. 11-13 in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

“Hitting back to back podiums feels great,” he said. “But it’s really just about keeping consistency in my preparation. Every race is a new challenge and I’m really happy I’m able to face these challenges and overcome them each time. Every medal has a different story and I think that’s really neat.”

— with files from Speed Skating Canada

Just Posted

Offenders work to repair harm through restorative justice process

The Arrowsmith Community Justice Society says process is alternative to court system

‘Dramatic undersupply’ of workers in Parksville Qualicum Beach: new labour report

Analysis supports what many already know, reinforces need for action: Burden

Outreach group ordered to stop feeding homeless on City of Parksville property

City issued Manna Homeless Society cease and desist order after complaints from public

Christmas lights installed on Alberni Highway

The City of Parksville will put up lights on Nov. 21 and 22

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Extreme case of poop-throwing gives Victoria bike community a bad name

Car centric roads and infrastructure invite cyclist-motorist incidents, says cycling coalition

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Most Read