Russian speed skaters seek to defend Olympic gold

Russia's speed skaters are heading to Canada two weeks ahead of the Olympics in order to prepare to defend the gold they took in Turin.

The team’s flight to Calgary is scheduled for Wednesday.

Russia went a dozen years without winning gold, but finally broke their string of bad luck in the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Hopes are high that they can be taking home medals once more in Vancouver, with the country's head coach stating that the upcoming training camp is perfect preparation for the battles ahead.

“Our preparations are going very well. And we have shown good results at the European Championships as well as at the Sprint World Cup. We’re leaving early to continue our preparations in Calgary, which is one of the fastest tracks in the world. Here we’ll be looking to acclimatize, and on February 4 we will arrive in Vancouver. Therefore we should be in top shape when the games begin,” Vladimir Filippov said.