Sylvain Bouchard started skating at age five, though not only long-track but also ice hockey and short-track. In 1986, aged 16, he started concentrating on long-track and developed as a sprinter. He made his international entry in 1994, placing 11th at the World Sprint Championships, and finishing 11th and 5th at the 500 and 1,000 m respectively at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Bouchard came closer to the top in the following years, but failed to make the World Sprint podium, finishing fifth in 1996. In 1995, he broke the 1,000 m World Record, but lost it to countryman Kevin Overland the next day. After the 1998 Olympics, where he again finished just outside the medal positions (500 m\: 4th, 1000 m\: 5th), Bouchard’s finest hour came at the World Single Distance Championships at home in Calgary. After finishing second in the 500 m, he broke the World Record to win the 1,000 m, and after the tournament, Bouchard retired from speed skating. Apart from his world title, Bouchard's prize cabinet also features two Canadian sprint titles (1995-96) and wins in two World Cup races (1,000 m in Jeonju, 1996 and 500 m in Milwaukee, 1998).
Personal Bests\: 500 – 35.21 (1998); 1000 – 1:09.60 (1998); 1500 – 1:51.68 (1998); 5000 – 7:33.56 (1989); 10000 – 17:55.33 (1990).