A native of Ottawa, Kristina Groves started speed skating when she was eleven years old, after watching legendary Canadian Gaetan Boucher compete at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. Good news for Canada.
Twenty years later, in 2007-2008, she produced a season to remember collecting 18 World Cup medals culminating in her first 1500m overall title, a World All-Round Championship bronze medal and an historic five-medal performance at the World Single Distance Championships including gold in the 3000m.
In 2008-2009, Kristina continued her success on the ice, winning her second overall title in the 1500m and producing a three-medal performance at the World Single Distance Championship and Olympic test event at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
At the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Kristina carried a heavy load competing in five events, capturing a silver and a bronze medal to add to the Olympic silver medal in the women’s 1500m and Team Pursuit event at the 2006 Games in Torino.
Throughout her 23-year career she won four Olympic medals, three overall World Cup titles in the 1500m, three World Championship titles, 13 medals at the World Single Distance Championships (the most by any Canadian) and 35 World Cup medals.
Outside of skating, Kristina is passionate about supporting Right To Play. As an Athlete Ambassador, Kristina helps raise awareness and funding for the organization that is now bringing sport and play to over 800,000 children around the world every week. She traveled to Rwanda in 2007 and to the Ontario First Nations, Sheshegwaning and Little Current, in 2012 to experience and learn about the power of sport for development.
As an active environmentalist, Kristina is also committed to limiting her footprint on the earth and is an Athlete Speaker for Clean Air Champions. She was invited to attend the 2007 Climate Project Canada in Montreal and was part of a group that spent time with climate change activists Al Gore and David Suzuki and also received some unexpected praise and encouragement from Yoko Ono for her work in organizing and hosting a “Bed-In” for Sustainability with community leaders in Calgary.
In 2011, Kristina was honoured as the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Alumni of the Decade for a decade of consistent athletic performance and her work in building green initiatives within Speed Skating Canada.
An accomplished public speaker and mentor, Kristina speaks passionately about sport, performance and the environment to corporate, business and educational audiences across Canada. She also visits several elementary schools each year with the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary Youth Education through Sport program (YES).
Kristina retired from competition in 2011 and will pursue her Masters in Sustainable Energy Development at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary in May 2013. She also provides colour commentary for CBC Sports speed skating broadcasts and is working as a research intern for wind energy start-up, BluEarth Renewables. She enjoys mountain biking in the Rockies, rowing, cross-country skiing and telemark skiing with long-time boyfriend Scott Maw.
To contact Kristina for speaking, media and other friendly inquiries, please visit her website here.