Ted-Jan Bloemen is a long track speed skater looking to get his first Olympic medal in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Bloemen grew up in Holland but currently lives in Calgary and has been speed skating his whole life. He came to Calgary for a new challenge because he felt he had a better chance to be successful.
He got into speed skating because his parents were recreational speed skaters and he enjoys racing on the ice himself.
“As soon as I could walk I would go out and skate. I loved it from the start.I have always had a passion for it,” Bloemen said in a recent interview.
He always knew that he wanted to be a professional speedskater and he is excited that he made it happen.
Ted’s father Gerhard-Jan Bloemen was born in Bathurst, N.B. and immigrated to The Netherlands. Ted-Jan Bloemen became a Canadian citizen in 2014 and he said he came to Canada to improve his skills.
“My dad was born in Canada and I have some family members here so I’ve always had a special relationship with the country.”
When he moved here three years ago, he said the team really embraced him and showed him around.
“I got so many opportunities here and it just made my life so much better then it was in Holland,” he said.
“Right now I’m just really proud to be called Canadian and representing Canada.”
Bloemen has many achievements and records on his resume and is looking to add a medal in the 2018 Games.
I’m just really proud to be called Canadian and representing Canada. – Ted-Jan Bloemen
According to speedskating.ca , in 2016 Bloemen broke the 5,000m Canadian senior record at the Olympic Oval Fall classic, with a time of 6:11.64. Recently he broke his own record with an impressive time of 6:08.06.
“I’ve been trying for many years to compete with the best speed skaters in the world. With 8-10 years in Holland I haven’t been able to make the progression to do that.”
Since he moved to Canada in 2014 he said he has been making that progression.
“It’s an awesome feeling that after so many years I have finally made a way to make it work.”
He has always had respect for all the great speedskaters.
“I’m in a very lucky situation where speedskating is my full-time job but to me it is more than that. I have to live like a speedskater and commit to it every day.”