May 30, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Hanne Desmet satisfied with US Plan B: “Now we will really be a Belgium team” | to slide

Belgian short trackers have found shelter again after being forced out of Heerenveen. Hanne and Stijn Desmet are conducting a trial year in the US and Canada.

The Belgian short track team heads west. Hanne Desmet and co will train in Salt Lake City, USA from June to July.

This will be followed by a trial period in Canada.

“I’m glad there’s a solution,” says Han Desmet. “It looked like we wouldn’t be able to stay in the Netherlands for long, so I’m glad it was plan B.”

“Also, I think it’s a positive that we’re going to try in America and Canada. That way we can see where we feel good and we can focus on consistent games next year.”

Brother and sister Desmet did not go to America alone. The pair will be joined by four other Belgian short track speed skaters.

“It’s a big advantage for the team. It’s beneficial for the team spirit and positive for the position. Before that we were always part of the Netherlands team and now we have a Belgium team.”

We were part of the Netherlands team. So now we’ll actually be Team Belgium.

Han Desmet

But moving to America was undoubtedly a big adjustment.

“I’ve lived in the Netherlands for five years now and consider it my home,” continues Desmet. “Adaptation is always difficult and long distance is certainly not ideal.”

“It’s hard to leave the Netherlands. You really build bonds and friendships. It felt like a team. The unions couldn’t just leave.”

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“Fortunately, I already know Salt Lake City in the US very well. It also helps my friend (American skater Joey Mandia, Ed.) trains there. There are no surprises there and the facilities are excellent.”

I already know Salt Lake City very well. There are many facilities.

Han Desmet

After a trial period in the US, the group will continue to Canada. What happens after the new year?

“Then we will evaluate the situation with the Canadians and, in principle, we can sign an agreement for the next four years,” says Desmet.

“The Netherlands is also an option though. The coaches there don’t want to lose us. We’ll see what comes from the bus. I’ll be happy when I’m in America, I can skate there. Then I hope peace returns. .”