By Nolan Kowal, Sport Performance Specialist

Tyson Langelaar spent the summer of 2019 training with the national team, and in October, he jumped into the Canadian Championships.

“By placing third in the 1500m, that allowed me to compete in the fall World Cup circuit, which included races one, two, three and four,” Langelaar explains.

The six-week road trip was eye-opening for Tyson and a truly great experience. The skater travelled to Belarus, Poland, Kazakhstan, and Japan, with one of the major highlights being to skate on the oval used for the ’98 Olympics.

Currently, Tyson is sticking to the overall plan for his season, which involves altitude training in Salt Lake City, then World Cup race #5 in Calgary, followed by the World Championships back in Salt Lake City.

The past year has also been a year of growth for Alexa Scott. During the off-season, she thoroughly enjoyed a training camp in Holland with the national team.

She says being surrounded by fellow high-performance athletes is inspiring and energizing. In November, Scott competed at a Junior World Cup. Coming home from this trip to the Netherlands, she had to make room for a silver medal from the 1500m event.

The success continued on the ice for Alexa in January. She topped the podium at the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, and 3000m races.

Right now, Scott is in mid-season training mode, which typically includes working out twice a day. She explains they are on-ice five days a week, otherwise it’s in the gym focusing on weights and cardio with Sunday being a day off completely.

Her goal is to maintain her strength and medal at the Junior World Championships. Scott says her times are very close to the national records in the 1500m and 1000m distances and she would love to beat those this season, too.

Mental strength is something that Tyson and Alexa are both working on this season with a sports psychologist. They see it as an area of growth that will help them under pressure and allow them to enjoy the sport as they work hard toward their goals. The skaters are also very thankful for their support systems that are in place: family, teammates, coaches and friends.

While looking to the future, this was also a chance to reflect on the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Both of these Manitoba skaters expressed how the Games were unique experiences and beneficial to their growth on and off the ice.

Langelaar says returning to the Canada Games as a more mature athlete allowed him to be a leader among the skaters and he found he was a more specialized competitor. Winning multiple medals gained him exposure among organizers, media and fellow athletes.

Scott experienced much of the same, but notes it was also very interesting to see how competitors from other sports prepared.

“It was refreshing to get to see boxers and archers as they do things quite differently than racers,” she said.

“I enjoyed seeing them in their environment and maybe what they did can somehow benefit me and my races.”

To the young skaters who strive to wear a Team Manitoba or Team Canada uniform, Tyson and Alexa both believe in trusting the process.

“Keep working hard. Enjoy your time on the ice. The Manitoba legacy is strong, and you’re in good hands,” Langelaar said.