CHARLOTTETOWN – Season-ending injuries have become career-ending for Island speed skater Scott Beamish, who is retiring from short-track competition.
© Photo courtesy of Patrice Lapointe/Fotosports.ca
In recent seasons, Warren Grove native Scott Beamish had solidified his position as P.E.I.’s fastest ever short-track speed skater.
The Warren Grove native’s season, one in which had him gunning for a spot on the national development team, ended after a car accident on the Island during the Christmas holidays.
He returned to university in Calgary after recovering, but the injuries and doctors’ diagnoses forced Beamish to reconsider his future.
“One of the things that happened in that accident was that some vertebrae in my neck were cracked,” said Beamish in a release. “Given the crashes that can happen in short track, my doctors were a bit concerned about the risk of additional trauma to those vertebrae and what the consequences of that could be.
“So, that was definitely a factor for me.
“For all amateur athletes though, we’re always weighing the time and money we put into our sport pursuits, even when it is a lot of fun, versus the years our lives are essentially put on hold from school, career and family.
:Ultimately, while I still love skating, it seemed like the right time to put more energy back into some other parts of my life. My time away from training after the accident helped me reach that conclusion.”
Beamish leaves an impressive record behind, having won Speed Skate P.E.I.’s President’s Award twice and top skater award three times during his years in Charlottetown.
He also set several provincial records as the fastest short-track skater ever from P.E.I. He also led P.E.I.’s Canada Games short-track team in Halifax in 2011.
“Scott has been such an ambassador for our organization and P.E.I.,” said Speed Skate P.E.I. president Rob Binns. “He always represented us with great pride and class at the national level, and had great success.
“The sport is so deep in Canada, but Scott showed he could skate with anyone, going to the start line with Olympic medallists and top guys from all over the world in the last couple of seasons. He should be extremely proud of his career, just as we are. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours on and off the ice.”
Those endeavours for Beamish, a 21-year-old physics major, may include coaching.
“I have so many great memories of skating with the P.E.I. club at the (Eastlink) Centre in Charlottetown, and I want to help more kids get a chance to enjoy speed skating the way I did for so many years,” he said.