Play Makers: Giving Back to the Sport

Rroy Henry was just seven years old when he first fell in love with speed skating.

Today it’s his life. Literally.

Up at 6 am every weekday, Henry can usually be found either at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, or in the gym.

His cellphone message confirms that.

“Hi, this is Troy. Sorry I missed you; I’m probably at the gym.”

The Whitehorse-born athlete hopes to share that dedication with young Yukon and Alaskan speed skaters during a three-day camp in Whitehorse this weekend.

Henry will return to his hometown with his coach, Mengyao “Maggie” Qi, one of China’s best speed skaters and a gold medallist at the 2006 Junior World Championships.

“It was a no-brainer and something I’m really excited about,” Henry says about coming home in the dead of winter to help facilitate the clinic.

“Anything less would be selfish. It’s something I have always wanted to do and hope to do more of in the future.”

Clinic participants will be in good hands. Henry’s speed-skating resumé is both vast and impressive.

He represented Team Yukon at the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse and in four Arctic Winter Games since 2002. At the 2008 Games in Yellowknife, he won bronze as part of the Junior Relay Team and golds in the 500, 777, 1000 and 1500 metre categories.

Today his dream is to make Canada’s national team.

“Whatever you want is up to you,” says Henry. “If you really want something, you can achieve it, but the choice is yours.”

Besides sharing tricks he’s picked up in his career, Henry will try to cement that mantra in the territory’s young athletes and upcoming skaters at next month’s Canada Winter Games in Halifax.

The Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club is organizing the camp, being held at the Canada Games Centre from January 28-30.

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