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ice speed skating

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Speedskating Season is Starting and During an Olympic Year it Matters

This is a brief note to point to an article about pro long track speedkating season. The one that matters to me, at least. No disrespect intended to the short track derby, but I like mostly non-contact sport contests of speed. The first turn of an F1 race is admittedly often an exception.

This weekend pro long track starts again, and TeamUSA has some experienced skaters leading up to the Olympics. Notably, Shani Davis, a great speedskater over the years, returns. Also Heather (Richardson) Bergsma, from High Point, NC, is back on the ice for another year always being a threat to win the gold. I don't know how or if I'll be able to catch this off the airwaves or streams, but might make an attempt. Former inliner Joey Mantia will also be on the team! 

Location

Thialf
Pim Mulierlaan 1
Heerenveen, Friesland 8443 DA
Netherlands
52° 56' 19.23" N, 5° 56' 35.5812" E
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Inline to Olympic Ice Speed Skates Again! Florida's Brittany Bowe Follows the Example of NC Speed Skater Heather Richardson

Here's a well-done if brief local piece of writing from Florida, where they are mighty proud of their inline champion, Brittany Bowe. If I have it right, she was at the US Cup when I was there, skating for Verducci (she, not me, ha!)**. I may even have some photos of her skating with the Verducci gals, not sure (might have a photo of Heather Richardson from a US10K too.. 

Thus, like many inliners, Bowe must have figured out there's not much glory in being at the top of a non-Olympic sport, and why not give it a go. (I think she may have made an attempt at cycling some time back too.) Anyway, she and High Point's Heather Richardson had raced plenty, and seeing Richardson's success surely was a factor, and likely made it easier to make the decision and follow an example for the switch over to indoor long track ice speed skating. 

This could be a powerful duo for the USA and they could be ambassadors for inline everywhere. 

Location

Ocala, Florida
United States
29° 11' 13.9164" N, 82° 8' 24.3312" W
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Quick Guide to Working Out at the Kearns, Utah Olympic Speed Skating Oval (and more) Near Salt Lake CIty

Lots of us dream of touring our way to a speed skating oval, and especially the one where the Olympic Speed Skaters train, ice or not. It turns out it's nice and cool in there, and there are running as well as skating facilities. Rather than repeat it all, I'll say check out this guide. But if you want speed skating, you need to wait until mid-July, when the 400m oval gets ice. For now, it's dryland exercises. 

Kearns' Olympic Oval - Salt Lake City Weekly -

Location

The Olympic Oval
5662 South Cougar Lane
Kearns, Utah
United States
40° 38' 52.3392" N, 112° 0' 31.374" W
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Inline Skater Will Not Let Deafness Keep Him from Seeking Olympic Ice Speed Skating Dream PLUS Deaf and Blind Speed Skater!

Oh boy I love my excuses. I need them! But some people have the genetics, psychosis, or whatever it is to overcome the challenges and keep seeking the Olympic dream.

TWO ARTICLES! FIRST ONE...

Check out this article on a guy who can't hear the competition, but seems ready to beat them. An inliner, then a swimmer, then to drinks and drugs, back to inline, then he saw a buddy from inline skating on television in the Olympics...

It was time to transition to ice, a path already blazed by other inline skaters who'd gone on to race in the Olympics on the ice. He sold everything, including his car, and bought a one-way ticket to the Olympic Training Center in Utah.

And yes as we often admit, there can be an addiction there...a good one, we hope...

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Inzell Outdoor Ice Rink Now Indoors; Kia Speed Skating Academy; Sven Kramer Works Out; Havard Bokko Shani Davis 1500m

Alas, a place I wanted to visit no longer exists. Well, not as it was. See m earlier piece, Shani Davis Wins Silver and Gold in Speed Skating World Championships; Tyler Farrar leads Tirreno-Adriatico Cycling Stage Race, for a photo of the beautiful outdoor 400m rink in Inzell. But of course, event planners usually don't like to depend on the weather if they don't have to, and an indoor rink probably gets a lot more use and provides a more consistent environment, but wow, what a beautiful place to skate that is now more like all the rest. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4AAdyYwlYI

 

Location

Eisstadion Inzell
Reichenhaller Straße 79
Inzell, Bayern 83334
Germany
47° 45' 9.072" N, 12° 45' 4.896" E
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Shani Davis Wins Silver and Gold in Speed Skating World Championships; Tyler Farrar leads Tirreno-Adriatico Cycling Stage Race

 

Just some quick notes here to remind that the World Single Distance Championships are under way in speed skating (they seem to like to have several kinds of world championships, ha!), and the Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race started yesterday with a team time trial. I followed the T2A (as we roadskaters might dub it) in past years and found it very entertaining, through territory reminiscent of the mountains of NC as I recall. 

Location

Ludwig-Schwabl-Stadion (Eisstadion Inzell) Inzell, Bayern
Germany
47° 45' 47.0484" N, 12° 44' 49.0488" E
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First Annual Masters International/USA Masters Single Distance Championships in Speed Skating Milwaukee WI 2011

This article is a stem of eebee's fine piece on women who are skating Roller Derby Lite for fun and fitness here...

http://roadskater.net/roller-skating-women-old-enough-know-better

...and the discussion, leading to a mention of Milwaukee's 400m speed skating track by timv here... 

Location

Petit National Ice Center
500 South 84th Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
43° 1' 32.1888" N, 88° 0' 56.682" W
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Heather Richardson Interview After Gold

Here's a quick interview article with more from the mom than the skater and coach, taken from email and web material as well. Just like going to sit in the stands for a sporting event. You want to know what the athletes are thinking...not the former ones except for maybe the coach...but you hear the parents of course, coaching from the stands and discussing the logistics, because you're not an athlete down there but a spectator up here. Good reason to have an ipod or talk with the person beside you on stereo headset phone calls! :o)

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Outdoor Skating Oval Opens, Weather Permitting, Halifax NS Canada

Oohwee! Outdoor ice oval in Halifax for the Canada Games open to the public, weather permitting! Here's a great quick read about the opening of the big ice on Halifax Commons, mainly for a dose of excitement about speed skating from our northern neighbors. Interesting that a guy got elected there without skating for 40 years, and that bike helmets are not allowed on the ice, only ones designed for skating. Interesting. Perhaps it's about the aero shape on the back of the head on lots of helmets? In any case, thank you, Canada, for loving skating so well and thoroughly!

Location

Halifax Common
Cogswell St and Robie St
Halifax
Canada
44° 38' 59.9496" N, 63° 35' 20.3064" W
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Eighty and Still Skatey! 80 Laps for the Lady

Just in case you want another reason to keep on skating, consider Agatha Van Der Starre's 80th birthday celebration on ice. She did 80 laps with friends to celebrate 80 years. Like many who love various forms of skating, she came to it late in terms of joining the speedskating club. Being from Holland and then Canada, it'd be crazy to think she never skated, but it seems her speedskating started some time around 1980 in a serious way. She medaled at the British Columbia games a couple of years later, and fifteen years after that, still going strong...

Location

Bill Copeland Sports Centre
3676 Kensington Avenue
Burnaby V5B 4Z6
Canada
49° 15' 12.024" N, 122° 57' 59.2272" W
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