The 29-year-old retired from competition at the beginning of 2013, unable to push himself to the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
“Mentally I was not in a good place,” Hay said. “I was just overwhelmed with skating. I wasn’t happy or happy with where I was at with the sport.”
Hay made his Olympic debut at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games as part of the men’s 5000m relay team that finished sixth. Four years later he was the sole male skater for Australia contesting the 1000m where he was 26th out of 32 athletes.
Since retiring, Hay has remained close to the sport, as part of the elite team’s coaching staff. After the Sochi Games, the national program underwent some changes including a new head coach in Anthony Barthell.
“I saw a change with the team,” Hay said of the new program.
“After spending some time as an assistant with the national team, I learnt a lot and grew a lot as a person. I thought that there could be a place for me back on the team.
“I made the decision to come back in the first few months of 2015 and started my training back up at the end of March this year.”
Head coach Barthell is nothing but supportive of Hay’s decision.
“I was pumped when he told me he wanted to come back,” Barthell said. “I knew that would be another strong skater and hard worker. The thing that people won’t know is that Lachlan has put in a ton of work to get back to where he is now.
“He and his teammates have all worked together to get him back on track and prepared for the long journey ahead. There’s no stopping him right now and I don’t see it happening until after he achieves his goals. “
For now Hay is keeping his goals realistic.
“I hope I achieve my third Olympic Games and qualify our team,” he said. “I also just want to achieve what I thought I was always capable of doing and see how far I can go.”
Hay will get a chance to test his racing skills this week at the 2015 Australian Open Championships. He will be up against 2014 Olympian Pierre Boda as well as rising star Andy Jung as well as a host of competitive senior men all vying for national titles and a coveted spot on the World Cup team.
The 2015 Australian Open Short Track Speed Skating Championships will take place from 25 – 26 September at the O’Brien Group Arena (formerly The Icehouse) in Docklands, Melbourne.
Friday 25th 7.30am – 7.10pm
Saturday 26th 7.45am – 2.00pm
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