08/29/2013 05:09 EDT | Updated 10/29/2013 05:12 EDT

Short track speedskaters first to don 2014 Canadian Olympic team jackets

MONTREAL - Charles Hamelin's eyes lit up when he saw the red, white and black 2014 Canadian Olympic team jackets neatly folded on a table.

Then the double gold medallist from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and his Canadian short-track speedskating teammates got to try them on.

"When we receive this jacket, it's like it's official — we're part of the team," Hamelin said Thursday. "Now all we have to do is train, do our best at World Cups to qualify ourselves for the Olympics, and then go to the Olympics and have fun and good results.

"It's the start of the second phase of our road to the Olympics."

The 10 members of the short-track squad were the first athletes officially named to the team that will compete at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, although it's not quite official just yet.

They need to secure spots in each event for Canada at a pair of World Cup meets in the fall, although that should be a formality. Canada is one of the world's top short-track countries.

They can place up to three skaters in each of three individual races and qualify a four-person squad in each of the men's and women's relays.

They need only to finish in the top-32 in the 500 and 1,000-metre races, and the top-36 in the 1,500 metres. For the relay, it's top eight.

"In a normal World Cup, we all finish in the top 10 or so," said Hamelin. "So we're going there with confidence that we can do great races and make three spots in everything.

"We still have to qualify the relay, but it should be good for us. We are the world champions from last year and the year before, and the (2010) Olympics."

Still, anything can happen in short-track, where even the world's best sometimes go flying into the barriers from the slightest touch with an opponent. A mishap in qualifying for the men's 1,000-metres left Canada with only two spots in that race in Vancouver.

Charles Hamelin and his brother Francois, of Ste-Julie, Que., were joined by Olivier Jean of Montreal, Michael Gilday of Yellowknife and newcomer Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., on the men's team.

The women's squad has Marianne St-Gelais of Ste-Julie, Jessica Gregg of Edmonton, Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C. and Marie-Eve Drolet and Valerie Maltais, both natives of Chicoutimi, Que.

Canada earned five short-track medals at the 2010 Games, and head coach Yves Hamelin — the father of Charles and Francois — says that based on recent world championship results, five or six medals is a reachable goal for Sochi.

"It's definitely realistic," said Gregg. "We have a really strong team.

"You never know what will happen in short-track, but we'll put it all out there and do our best and we'll definitely get that amount or more."

Jean said he doesn't want to count medals until they've been won.

"I don't think about podiums or results," he said. "I control what I can on the ice — my strategy, my technique, my mental preparation.

"If I do everything right and if all my teammates do everything right, without thinking about medals, we'll actually have great results in the end."

One skater who won't be going to Sochi is American Simon Cho, a relay bronze medallist in Vancouver. Cho was handed a two-year suspension on Sunday by the International Skating Union for tampering with Jean's skates at the 2011 World Team Championship.

Cho said he was told to break Jean's blades by former U.S. coach Jae Su Chun, who is also suspended.

Jean does not harbour a grudge.

"You probably don't feel good about yourself when a story like that comes out and that's probably enough for me," said Jean. "The punishment, what they decided, is not for me to judge.

"It doesn't change anything in my Olympic preparation. It's old news for me."

And he isn't fretting about the controversy over Russian government's anti-gay legislation, which has promoted calls for a the Games to be boycotted.

"The latest news from the Russian Olympic Committee was that it wouldn't impact the athletes and everyone involved in the Games," he said. "I hope it's true."

The Canadian Olympic Association announced a new sponsorship agreement with Hilton's customer rewards program known as Hilton HHonors, which in turn announced individual sponsorships of freestyle skier Travis Gerrits and hockey player Meghan Agosta-Marciano.