Olympic silver medalist Justin Warsylewicz (centre back) with Division 3 of Talmey Elementary and teacher Ms. Jeanna Gavsie.

As part of the effort to reach out to the community and create awareness of speed skating (both long and short track), Speed Skating Canada Community Tour is launched today at Talmey Elementary.

The school version of the display, which talks about the history and facts of speed skating, will be making its way through 40 elementary schools and 11 secondary schools, reaching out to some 20,000 students between now and February 2010.

Silver medalist in men’s team pursuit at 2006 Olympics, Justin Warsylewicz, talks to a class of Grade 5/6 students to tell them all about the sport, his experience and achievements. Showing his skin suit, skates and medals, Justin is completely immersed in conversation with a group of curious and excited children, most of who are talking to an Olympian for the first time.

“Already the calendar is filling right up to December 2009, we have received tremendous response from schools that all want to participate and take in the Olympic spirit,” says Glenn Kishi of Richmond School District.

The Community Tour is a joint effort of Speed Skating Canada, Richmond Spirit of BC Committee and River Green, Richmond’s newest waterfront community, of Aspac Developments.