10 Minutes with Niall Treacy
Niall Treacy is a Team GB Short Track Speed Skater who competed at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and he trains here at the NIC. With the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships happening in Canada this weekend (8 – 10 April), we interviewed Niall to find out about the best way to get into speed skating!
What age did you start ice skating?
I started speed skating when I was 8 years old.
How did you get into speed skating in particular and what inspired you to take up the sport?
I got into the sport because of my older brothers Farrell and Ethan. Farrell had missed the bus home from school and could only get home if he went to skating training with his friend first! He went and loved it, and then shortly after me and Ethan joined.
What do you most enjoy about speed skating?
I enjoy the thrills and spills of speed skating the most. When you have 5 people all going at max speed on thin blades anything can happen!
Do you have a favourite ice skating move and if so, what is it?
I love outside overtakes but they are actually a little bit scary because if the person your overtaking falls over, you’re falling over with them!
What does a typical training day look like for you?
A typical training day is waking up at 6am, get to the rink for 7:30am, on the ice for an hour and 45 minutes. Then we head home for lunch and little rest before a second off-ice session starting at 3pm which might be a gym session or stairs. Then home for dinner.
Photos from Team GB’s Bound for Beijing event at the National Ice Centre
Do you have any particular warm up exercises that you do before you speed skate?
We must first raise the heart rate, either on the bike or running. Then we start doing lots of dynamic stretches to loosen up the muscles, before getting into skate specific stuff nice and low.
How did you feel when you qualified for Team GB?
When I was selected to represent Team GB it was a massive relief that the goal I had been working towards for 13 years finally came true.
What was your experience of the Winter Olympics like and what was your favourite part?
The experience was fantastic! It was so special to be in the Olympic village and head to the opening ceremony with the rest of Team GB. I’d say my favourite part was stepping on the ice before my race and realising I had become an Olympian.
What other Winter Olympic disciplines did you enjoy watching and would you give any of those a try (if you haven’t already!)?
I got to watch lots of figure skating, long track speed skating, hockey, and curling. I’d give long track a go because it’s the most similar to short track, but I’d also like to give curling a go because it looks so fun and tactical.
Finally, what advice would you give to people who might be considering trying speed skating?
I’d tell people to just get involved as soon as you can. People always say how scary and chaotic the sport looks, but when you do it you realise it’s a lot more fun than scary!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions Niall! We can’t wait to see you compete next season in the Short Track Speed Skating events!
If you’re interested in speed skating, you can find out more about how to get into the sport here.