Valerie Maltais


Valérie Maltais is a distinguished Canadian speed skater, often recognized for her exceptional talent on the ice and representing Canada in multiple international championships. Her passion and dedication have made her a figure of inspiration in the world of speed skating. Maltais accomplished a rare feat at Beijing 2022 when she became the third athlete in the world (and the first Canadian) to win Olympic medals in both forms of speed skating.

Early life

Born on July 4, 1990, in La Baie, Quebec, Valérie was always inclined towards athletic pursuits. From a tender age, the icy expanses of Quebec’s rinks became her playground, setting the stage for a future Olympian. Her family was incredibly supportive, recognizing her natural affinity for speed and grace on ice. By the age of ten, her commitment to the sport became evident, and her journey towards mastering short track speed skating commenced.

Valérie Maltais began her journey in speed skating back in 1996 at a local rink in Saguenay. Prior to this, she was immersed in figure skating for a couple of years. However, after her mother witnessed the competitive spirit of short track during the Olympic Winter Games, she was inspired to transition Valérie to this more competitive realm. Even during her figure skating days, Valérie had a penchant for speed, often expressing a desire to race against her coach.


Early Career

Valérie Maltais began her journey on ice at the tender age of 6. By 2009, she had earned the title of Canadian Champion in the 1500m. That same year, she clinched a bronze medal in the relay at the World Short Track Championships. Her performances earned her a spot on the 2010 Olympic team in Vancouver. While she was slated to represent the host country in the Ladies’ 3000m relay at the 2010 Winter Olympics, she instead only competed in the 1,500m race and secured a fourteenth-place finish.

Following the Olympics, Valérie’s star continued to rise at the 2012 World Championships. In a gripping photo finish in the 1,000m race, she captured a bronze medal. This victory paved her way to the 3,000m superfinal. In this race, she outclassed her competitors, lapping them all to clinch the gold medal. Her remarkable performance throughout the competition also earned her a silver medal in the overall standings. However, in a twist of fate during the relay finals, her teammate, Marie-Ève Drolet, took a fall. This unfortunate event placed the Canadians in fourth position, narrowly preventing Maltais from bagging a fourth medal at the championship.

Professional Career

Valérie Maltais began her professional career in the national arena, swiftly making a name for herself with her unparalleled speed and technique. However, it was the international stage where she truly shone, representing Canada in various world championships and Olympic Games.

Her first notable international appearance was at the 2008 World Championships. Although young and relatively inexperienced, Valérie displayed a tenacity that promised a bright future in the sport. The subsequent years saw her refining her skills and consistently performing at a top-tier level.

One of the highlights of her career came during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Despite the high-pressure environment, Maltais showcased her prowess by setting a new Olympic record in the 1000m heats. This achievement was a testament to her dedication and rigorous training regimen.

Post the Sochi Winter Olympics, Valérie faced challenges and injuries that tested her mettle. However, showing resilience, she transitioned to long track speed skating. This shift demonstrated her adaptability and desire to continuously challenge herself. In the long track format, she continued to impress, bringing the same fervor and expertise she displayed in the short track.

Throughout her career, Maltais has been a beacon of consistency. Whether it’s the World Championships or the Olympics, her presence on the ice has always been a symbol of dedication, skill, and an unwavering love for the sport.

Olympic Journey of Valérie Maltais

2010 Vancouver In Maltais’ Olympics debut at the age of 20, she only competed in one event, the 1500m, where she finished a disappointing 14th. She surprised her delegation by opting out of the 3000m relay.

2014 Sochi By the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Maltais had graduated from being an Olympic newcomer, yet she remained the youngest participant in the women’s short track team. In contrast to her prior Olympic experience, where she hadn’t participated in the relay team and felt overwhelmingly nervous, she helped the team to a Silver medal in the 3000m. She also found her strength in her favored 1,000m and 1,500m events. A significant shift was her preference to lead from the front. Sharing insights into her strategy, Maltais mentioned, “Previously, I spent more time at the front, a tactic that suits me. There’s still room for refining my laps and better managing my pace, but I believe in this strategy.” This approach proved successful during national trials, leading to her participation in all three individual events and the relay in Sochi.

2018 Pyeongchang In August of 2017, Maltais secured her spot on the 2018 Canadian Olympic team, marking another significant chapter in her Olympic journey. She competed in Pyongchang, where she took 7th in the 1000m

2022 Beijing January 2022 marked a new milestone for Maltais. She was announced as a member of Canada’s Olympic long track speed skating team, a switch from her usual short track events. This shift in discipline didn’t deter her prowess, as she went on to achieve a gold medal in the team pursuit event. This victory positioned Maltais among an elite group of athletes: she became one of the few, including Eric Flaim, Jorien ter Mors, and Ruslan Zakharov, to have won Olympic medals in both short- and long-track speed skating.

Personal Interests: Outside the rink, Valérie has a myriad of hobbies and interests. She has a passion for treasure hunting in consignment stores and enjoys spending time watching TV series and films. A food enthusiast, she loves both cooking and exploring new culinary delights. Yoga, board games, and gardening also count among her pastimes. Additionally, she has a keen interest in traveling and discovering new places. On the philanthropic side, Valérie is an active supporter of Fast and Female, Classroom Champions, and the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Fillactive.

Additional Facts:One of her cherished mottos is, “Everything happens for a reason.” When it comes to her favorite Olympic memory, it takes her back to the Salt Lake City 2002 games where she was awestruck watching Marc Gagnon and Jonathan Guilmette secure gold and silver respectively in the 500m event. Adding to her accolades, Valérie clinched four medals, including a gold, representing Team Quebec in short track at the 2007 Canada Winter Games.

Net Worth

Her exact net worth is not publicly known but is estimated to be between $1-5 million.


Valérie Maltais’ list of achievements is extensive. A few notable ones include:

Setting an Olympic record in the 1000m heats during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Representing Canada in multiple World Championships, where she consistently ranked among the top speed skaters.
Successfully transitioning from short track to long track speed skating and making a mark in both formats.
Garnering numerous national titles, underscoring her dominance in the Canadian speed skating circuit.

However, beyond these tangible achievements, Valérie’s greatest accomplishment might be her unwavering commitment to the sport. Her resilience in the face of adversity, her ability to adapt, and her passion for speed skating have made her a true icon in the world of sports.