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olympics

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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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Not Better, Just Faster: Fast Olympic Speed Skater and Slow Runner on Teaching Children and Ourselves about Competition

Here's a brief interview with one of Canada's favorite speed skating champions. I thought the comments on competition were interesting. I miss seeing all those skaters who were so much faster than me at Athens to Atlanta. They'd still be faster than me, most of them, but not perhaps it is not worth being there to them if not faster than almost everyone there? In any case, I'd love to see more skaters at A2A, especially those on the way up or down. I think a lower entry fee would help. In any case, back to the subject at hand.... 

 

Here's a bit of what I found interesting:

Location

Unionville, Ontario
Canada
43° 52' 8.8932" N, 79° 18' 33.0192" 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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Can a 50-Year-Old Woman Qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Long Track Ice Speedskating?

It's a tough combination of teaching rink ice sessions, boardwalk running along the beaches of Long Island, NY, inline skating on multiuse pathways, and all the rigors of training (which is at least fun work), but not much time of 400m world class arenas. Many would like to have such a tough life of skating focus. But after early promise and years of challenges, a former bulemic ice figure skater who qualified for trials in 1984 believes she may have it all coming together after just two years on ice speed skates.

She may find the 15 seconds of speed to get her 15 minutes of fame to make it into the 2014 Winter Olympics. Even if she doesn't, the pursuit of that dream will keep her life skateyfied and that has to be supersweet, indeed.

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Cool or Tool Party Crashers: Steely-Biked Pals Join the London 2012 Olympic Road Cycling Test Event

For once I don't know what to think of this. I basically dislike fans trying to get in the race or stand alongside or run along with the riders. I normally wouldn't like riders trying to join in, either. But maybe this was a special deal, I'm not sure. If it truly was a test event, well these guys helped provide the test! And it sounds like the race officials failed? No harm, no foul, maybe, and we'll find out if there was any real damage, I'm sure. The only reason I'd be tempted to say this is cool would be the test event nature of it. Hmm. I don't know but feel like they meant to be there but I'm also thinking they really meant to bring up the rear, not be between the peloton and backmarkers. But then they could just be good liars with pants afire. 

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Universal Sports Brings Skating, Cycling, Olympic and International Human-Powered and Gravity Sports to Free Over-the-Air TV

It looks like those multiple extra over-the-air 24-hour weather channels may get some other use on free over the air digital television...long track speed skating, short track speed skating, cycling, ice hockey, marathons, track and field, even curling.

Location

Raleigh, North Carolina
United States
35° 46' 47.0928" N, 78° 38' 36.2904" W
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Inline Skating Roller Speedskating Tries Again for 2016 Summer Olympics wIth Golf, Baseball, Softball, Rugby 7s, Squash, Karate

Once again roller speedskating is trying to get into the Olympics, already being considered an Olympic Sport as referenced here...
http://www.olympic.org/uk/sports/recognized/index_uk.asp

...with the official federation, Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS), being listed here...
http://www.olympic.org/uk/organisation/if/fi_uk.asp?Id_federation=56

...its main site being...
www.rollersports.org

Locations

Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports
Viale Tiziano 74
Roma 00196
Italy
Phone: 39.06 36858543
Fax: 39.06.36858211
41° 55' 50.1456" N, 12° 28' 8.1912" E
International Olympic Commitee
Château de Vidy
Lausanne 1007
Switzerland
Phone: (+41 21) 621 61 11
Fax: (+41 21) 621 62 16
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High Point NC Woman Speedskater Makes the Transition from Inline to Ice for the Olympics

A few years ago at the US10K I met Heather Richardson from High Point Speed, just briefly, not a long chat or anything. But it was clear she was a powerful skater even at 10K, which is lots longer than most indoor types really want to do very often (that's a lot of laps on the tiny indoor inline circuits). The Greensboro News & Record has a nice story on her, point out that...

Richardson, a 19-year-old from High Point, is the reigning U.S. champion in long-track speedskating's sprint events and recently finished 20th at the World Sprints.

Location

Rol-A-Rink Skating Center
2421 N Main St
High Point, North Carolina 27262
United States
35° 57' 25.3584" N, 80° 0' 20.6208" W
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British Cycling Team GB (Winners of Eight Gold Medals in 2008 Olympics) Shreds the Skinsuits

Here's a quick one about the British Cycling organisation as they'd spell't getting their skinsuits back so they could be destroyed, thus holding the advantage, they hope, for the 2012 olys. An odd little article that mentions thoughts of breaking collar bones too, all in the name of safety? By the way I'm not sure of the medals counts, but the beeb said 8 so maybe there was an update after the olys. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/7872309.stm Some background on the impressive results by Great Britain:

Location

Laoshan Velodrome Beijing, Beijing
China
39° 54' 45.8352" N, 116° 12' 27" E
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Shani Davis Shows How to Skate: Full Extension, Heel Push

Check out this article on Shani Davis, who was amazing last year in the World Cup season (indoor long track) and has taken three of four individual events in his specialties this year already. The news may be aimed at the X vs. Y junk (now that elections are mostly over) between Davis and Hedrick, who joined with Trevor Marsicano to place 2nd in the team pursuit, but the most important part may be the photo (apparently from the 2006 Olys, eh?).

Location

Heerenveen
Netherlands
52° 57' 23.5044" N, 5° 55' 34.3884" E
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