BiographyAthlete : Speed Skating
Year Inducted: 2014
Born in: Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa native Kristina Groves’ Olympic dream was sparked as an 11-year-old girl trying to win the lottery for the chance to run with the Olympic torch in the 1988 Olympic Winter Games relay. Watching Canadian legend Gaetan Boucher race during those Olympics convinced her she wanted to be a speed skater.
Never considered a future star, she ground it out bit by bit with the Ottawa Pacers Speed Skating Club to become a world champion and four-time Olympic medalist. Kristina patiently developed, made the Canadian team, climbed the international rankings and eventually won her first World Cup medal, a gold, in a 3000m race in 2004.
Steady improvement led to Kristina consistently reaching the podium at World Cup and World Championship competitions. In 2006 she won two Olympic silver medals – 1500m and Team Pursuit – at the Olympic Winter Games in Torino. In 2008, Kristina won an unprecedented five medals at the World Single Distance Championships in Nagano Japan, including gold in the 3000m. She is the first, and so far only, skater to have achieved this feat at the World Single Distance Championships.
During the 2008-2009 World Cup season, Kristina won 12 medals including four gold. She has won the overall World Cup title in the 1500m three times – in 2008, 2009 and 2010. More recently Kristina won two more Olympic medals at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, bronze in the 3000m and silver in the 1500m. Kristina spent 13 years on the Canadian team and won a total of 34 individual World Cup medals. She won the Ottawa Sports Award Female Athlete of the Year so many times, they named the trophy after her.