The Canadian long track speed skating team has lost their head coach Michael Crowe after he took a leave of absence on short notice and less than a month before the Winter Olympics. The team is now left without a head coach and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea is scheduled to start in February.
Speed Skating Canada told CBC Sports that their head coach has taken a leave of absence from the speed skating team rather abruptly after sending in an email. The e-mail states that Crowe will most likely make his return once the Olympic Games are over. There were no other details provided and no reason was given regarding the leave of absence. It is rather strange that Crowe decided to take a leave of absence before the Olympics and chose to send an email to inform Speed Skating Canada.
In a statement, a representative of Speed Skating Canada said
Michael Crowe is currently on leave from his position as head coach until at least after the Olympic Games. Speed Skating Canada has launched an internal investigation and there is currently a process in place
Speed Skating Canada did not provide any other information regarding the internal investigation or confirm what exactly will be investigated. On January 10, 2018, members of the Canadian speed skating team were notified of Crowe's leave of absence. This is the same day that Speed Skating Canada named 10 men and 9 women who'll represent the country at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang which commences from February 9, 2018.
Speed Skating Canada put up a positive front and told the media that despite the lack of a head coach, they still have the leadership required to enable their athletes to perform at their best in Pyeongchang. The organization also confirmed that they would not take any steps to find a new head coach to jump in before the Olympics and would prefer to use their internal resources and find leaders who can step up in the absence of head coach Crowe.
The 64-year-old Crowe started his speed skating career as an athlete back in 1974. In 1983, he joined the U.S. team's coaching staff and has coached both America and Canada during the last 30 years. His career has been studded with accomplishments which include being named U.S coach of the year in 1988 and 2002. He also received the 2010 coach of the year award in Canada. Crowe has been with Team Canada since 2007 and was part of the coaching staff at the 2007 and 2014 Olympic games.
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