About Us

BY SKATERS, FOR SKATERS

 Founded in November 2016 by former speed skaters who have become leaders in equipment, coaching and mentoring, Nagano Skate stands out as a world leader in precision sharpening equipment for speed skating. The Frank’s Signature range of Nagano Skate is synonymous with quality and is already used in more than fifteen countries.

Nagano Skate’s main mission is to innovate to make speed skating a faster and safer sport.

Working in collaboration with MAGNAN Culture Cycliste, a Quebec company, Nagano Skate offers a range of custom protective gear for speed skating. The new Nagano Skate custom clothing is designed to combine comfort, performance and efficiency thanks to unique designs and innovative fabrics. Like all other products bearing the Nagano Skate signature, Nagano Skate clothing will ensure a head start in achieving everyone’s goals.

The rocker machine developed by Nagano Skate, the Golden Rocker, allows everyone to easily reproduce precise templates giving access to performance profiles improving speed, stability and control for all skaters.

In addition to having the best sharpening and protection equipment, Nagano Skate is the official and exclusive wholesaler in Canada of the prestigious company Skate-Tec. Skate-Tec designs and manufactures the best blades in the world, including the M-Wave, the Nagano, the 527 and the M-Style.

The Nagano Skate Academy offers coaching and mentoring as well as live or video training on all aspects of speed skating.
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You want to know how Nagano Skate was founded? Have a quick read at our blog post here.

Who's behind Nagano Skate?


François Drolet:

 
Rich in his career as a high-level athlete in speed skating, François has always shared his passion for his sport, both with the little ones and with the best skaters in the world.
It all started in Quebec City where he was a skater but where he also acted as a coach for the beginner skaters of the Quebec club. Over the years he has participated in many national training camps where his efforts in his sport have taken him to the Nagano Olympics where he won a gold medal in the 5000m relay.
Subsequently, in the summer of 2005, he helped organize the Lake Louise training camp dedicated to athletes of all sports preparing for the Olympic Games in Turin. It was one of the main events of the 2005 Olympic Excellence Series of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
With his experience as a high-level athlete but also driven by passion and his quest for excellence, it is with the Canadian national short track team that he chose to work full time from 2012 to 2016 at equipment specialist title. During this period he participated in all training camps with the team, even accompanying them to the Sochi Olympics.
It is therefore since 1998, which he has transmitted his knowledge in schools, for various organizations and, of course, for speed skating clubs by addressing important themes in sport including attitude, stress and management of emotions.
More recently, he founded with Éric Bédard the Nagano Skate company which is now positioned as an international leader in speed skating equipment. In fact, in addition to the many clubs in the province who have the chance to benefit from its expertise as an international leader in terms of equipment, several national teams now trust Nagano Skate, this is the case of Canada, Russia, Japan, Great Britain, China, United States, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea and many more. Several skaters and clubs in the region but also internationally now benefit from his consulting services.


Éric Bédard:

 

Éric Bédard’s career is marked by experiences that are each as inspiring as the next. Always driven by his passion for speed skating, he has made his mark over the years in this exciting universe.
It all started in Ste-Thècle in Mauricie in the early 1980s where he devoted himself to short track speed skating first as a skater but also as a coach while continuing to work on his personal training. It was in 1995 that his efforts paid off as Eric made his entry as a skater for the Canadian national team. It is moreover with his teammates of the national team that he participates in 3 Olympic Games (1998-2002-2006) and wins not one but four Olympic medals.

After the Olympic Games in Turin in 2006, he will be hooking up his skates to fit the coach's. This opened the doors to the German national team where he served as head coach from 2008 to 2010. It was also with his German skaters that he experienced the Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010 but this both with a different role and reality.

Italy, on the other hand, following his work closely, in turn retain the services of Eric to propel their national team skaters to greater heights. So it was to prepare the Italian skaters for the Olympic Games in Sochi in Russia that Eric packaged his bags and spent 4 years with the Italian national team as head coach for the period 2010-2014. With the help of his accomplice Kenan Gouadec, they return from the Sochi Games with 3 Olympic medals for Italy with on board Arianna Fontana, the most decorated female athlete at the Olympic Winter Games.

France, not wanting to be outdone, will in turn offer him a post of head coach. His time in France will be short-lived as he returns to Canada to serve as High Performance Program Director for the Calgary Oval until 2018 when he returns to Quebec. Indeed, it is as the men's coach of Canada's national team that he will return to where it all began for him: in Quebec.
Since 2020, he has put his passion and his rigor at the service of the next generation as he is the head coach and manager of the Speed ​​Skating Sports Studies program at the Académie les Estacades de Trois-Rivières. In addition to his coaching work, Eric continues to do research with the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières with the goal of further specializing in athlete development aimed at high performance.

Surrounded by partners specializing in high performance sport, he founded in 2016 with one of his teammates from the Canadian national team, François Drolet, the Nagano Skate company exclusively dedicated to the promotion and development of speed skating. Over the months and years, other partners will join them with the same goal, namely to develop programs and products that allow skaters to excel out of the ordinary.
Thus, his years of experience, observation and research combined with his contacts but above all with the desire to always go further, ensure that he and his business partners are able to reach the most high standards of excellence in speed skating, but above all to ensure that the passion is passed on from one generation to the next.



Charles Hamelin:

 
Charles has undoubtedly been the dominant figure in short track speed skating internationally for the past decade or so. With his three-time Olympic champion titles, he holds more than a hundred World Cup medals.
The athlete, originally from the city of Sainte-Julie, under the influence of his brother François, started speed skating at the age of 10. Fifteen years later, this passion will bring the two brothers to meet on an Olympic podium!
It was at the Olympic Games in Turin in 2006, accompanied by Éric Bédard, that the youngest of Canada's men's short track team won his first Olympic medal. He won the silver on the 5,000m relay team. A few years later, he delivered a remarkable performance at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, winning gold in the 500m and 5,000m relay in a 30-minute interval. He is in fact the only multiple athlete to win Canada’s gold medal during these Games. Then, at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Charles won his third Olympic gold medal in the 1,500m. This put a balm on an experience that demonstrated the champion's admirable capacity for resilience. We remember that in 2018, the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang were not easy for Charles but with his strength of character, he was able to come to his senses and helped Canada win the bronze medal in the relay 5 000 m. This 5th Olympic medal tied Charles the most medalist Canadian in history. Nothing less.
No rest for the champion! Indeed, only two weeks after his return from Pyeongchang, in front of his fans in Quebec, Charles became world champion. A feat that no Canadian has achieved in 20 years!
Charles shows extraordinary perseverance to remain the consistent athlete and formidable skater that he is today.
Always passionate about his sport and hungry for victories, he certainly doesn't intend to stop there! He has the experience and the determination to keep his momentum going until the Beijing Olympics in 2022.
At the end of his speed skating career, Charles would like to give back to the speed skating community that has allowed him to fulfill himself and assert himself as one of Canada's greatest athletes.
Thus, it is through the Academy program of Nagano Skate, a company of which he is a co-shareholder, that he will be able to continue to promote his sport so dear to his heart. Of course, several other projects, both with Nagano Skate but with other partners are expected for our champion!

Bruno Paradis-Bolduc:



A distinguished sportsman, runner, hockey player, Bruno has always made sport and physical activity a big part of his life. Immersed in the restaurant business for over 14 years as a cook, manager and director of a restaurant chain, he was able to quickly develop and refine his skills and management skills.
So it was by joining the ranks of Nagano Skate that Bruno chose to put his management skills to good use. Thus, he brings expertise and thoroughness to the company allowing Nagano Skate to offer the services as we know it. Bruno notably manages orders, inventory, logistics, transport but also the website in order to provide impeccable customer service. A major ally in carrying out various follow-ups, Bruno demonstrates extraordinary efficiency. It responds to all requests whether they come from a club in the province of Quebec or as far away as South Korea! He wants every customer, every skater to have an answer to their question and makes a point of doing so with extraordinary efficiency and speed.
His passion for travel and different cultures comes naturally to the energy deployed by Bruno to promote Nagano Skate internationally. We have to admit that these efforts are not in vain if we look at the results obtained in recent months.
For everything to be perfect, Bruno would have to trade in his hockey skates for speed skates ... that's a story to follow!

Patrice Cauchon:



Come back soon for bio


Kenan Gouadec:

Kenan first got involved in high performance sport as an athlete in cycling and short track speed skating spending time at the Calgary national training center and with the French National Short Track Team until 2002. Following his athletic career, he was naturally drawn to sports science and coaching, studying exercise science, and leading him to complete a Masters in exercise physiology at Université de Montréal in 2008 with a specialty in physical assessment and training. During his studies he remained involved in his sports of interest coaching cycling and short track speed skating, as well as working on technical and physical preparation of professional hockey players.

Until his departure for Europe in 2011 he remained actively involved in the sport science department of Université de Montréal as an internship supervisor and testing specialist in the kinesiology clinic.

In 2011, his expertise was identified by the Italian short track speed skating team to join Eric Bedard and take charge of the preparation of the program for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. During that time, thanks in part to the strong partnership with Eric Bédard, they combined forces with the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and FERRARI to develop and enhance speed skating specific products. They returned from the Sochi Olympics with 3 medals, a first in the history of the Italian team.

Kenan continued this adventure assuming the roles of head coach and technical director up to the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic games where the Italian team once again claimed 3 medals including gold in the 500m.

Kenan has now moved to Australia, from where he continues to work with the Italian Ice Sports Federation as a technical consultant as well as continuing to forge his path in high performance sport leadership as High Performance Manager at the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) in Sydney. At NSWIS  Kenan manages a portfolio of Olympic sport programs, featuring high profile sports such as Diving, Sailing and some of Australia’s most successful Winter Sports disciplines.

In addition to these activities, Kenan continues to bring his diversified high performance sport experience and skills to Nagano Skate. Thanks to the great relationship created over the year with Eric Bédard and the Nagano Skate Team, all sharing the common passion for speed skating, Kenan contributes to the expanding success of the company in helping to position it as the world leader in the development of specialised equipment and education in speed skating.