Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin contributes to successful Olympic speed skaters Submitted: 02/10/2014
Story By Shardaa Gray


WEST ALLIS - Winter Olympics history tells us Americans can fly on ice.

Our nation's speed skaters have won more Olympic gold medals than skaters for
any other country.

Wisconsin plays a big part in this success story.

Newswatch 12's Shardaa Gray takes us to West Allis where the Spirit of the North
has driven speed skaters for decades.

"It hasn't really hit me yet, but once I'm there and getting into it and being
with the team; it will start to sink in." said America's youngest speed skater,
Emery Lehman.

17 year old Emery Lehman from Illinois is the youngest U.S. Olympic speed skater
this year.

90 years ago a young speed skater named Charles Jewtraw was the first person
ever to win a gold medal in the very first Winter Olympics.

Jewtraw won the 500 meter event in 1924 in Chamonix, France.

Emery isn't sure if he'll make history like Jewtraw, but he does have high hopes.

"My goals are probably to finish between 15th and 10th in the 5K," Emery said.

"Then 10K, only 16 skaters; probably I'm going in ranked like 16th. So anything
better than last at this point."

Before leaving for Sochi, Lehman trained at the Pettit National Ice Center in
West Allis.

He has been training there since he was 14 years old.

They've trained Olympians since 1992, after it was reconstructed to become an
indoor facility.

"The impetus behind it was to create an Olympic training site. So it had to open
by the end of 1992 for political reasons within the US speed skating," said
Pettit Ice Center Executive Director, Randy Dean.

"The USOOC had to be open by the end of 1992 to be an official US Olympic
training site."

The Pettit Center replaced the outdoor 24 year old Wisconsin Olympic Ice Rink.

"It was right here in this very site; almost not the exact place where the oval
is today, but very close. They'd tell stories of the salt blowing off the
expressway, the headwinds and how cold it was," Dean said.

"There wasn't any enclosed oval in the United States. So people got together
here and raised some money, got some help from the state and built the Pettit
Center here for about 14 million dollars."

85 speed skating medals have been won by American Olympians going into Sochi Games.

Out of that number, 70 medals were won by Olympians that trained or based at the
Pettit Center.

Emery's mom remembers when he first put on speed skating skates.

"They loaned him a pair of boats, he got on the ice, he looked at me I was
standing on the bleachers, kind of shrugged his shoulders looked down at his
boots and started to skate and he fell in love with it." said Emery's mother,
Marcia Lehman.

"He just had that intangible quality that you can see in some kids. It's like
you can't really teach it. Once you see it's there to be developed." Emery's
coach, Jeff Klaiber said.

"It's definitely paid off now. Traveling's a lot of fun and competing is a lot
of fun. It's all worth it in the end," said Emery.

"Especially because I love it, it's a lot easier. It's probably a lot harder for
my mom and dad who put in just as much dedication as I did, but they don't get
to travel as much."

Emery raced Friday; finishing 16th out of 26 races in the men's 5,000 meters,
the best finish by an American.

The 10K comes next Tuesday.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/08/2016

- Take a trip with us to one of two covered bridges in Wisconsin, the Smith Rapids Covered Bridge in Price County.

- Plus, Wine, women, and welding may sound like a dangerous combination, but the class turned out to be a pretty successful event for the Advanced Welding Institute in Eagle River. The women had fun learning a new skill while helping out a good cause.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

WAUSAU AND STEVENS POINT - In the United States, only 10 percent of people who go through sudden cardiac arrest survive, but two local fire departments are trying to change that in northcentral Wisconsin.

The Wausau and Stevens Point Fire Departments are holding a friendly competition to see who can train the most people on how to administer CPR.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Last year, many people got sick even though they got the flu shot.

Health experts say that's not the case this year. They think this flu season has been a good one so far.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Super Bowl commercials get a lot of national attention. One organization hoped to use its commercial to to bring attention to a good cause.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee man has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for fatally beating his father last year.

Forty-one-year-old John Edward Balistreri blamed his 77-year-old father for his mother's death 25 years earlier.

+ Read More

PRICE COUNTY - By the late 1980s, the U.S. Forest Service knew it needed a new bridge to span the South Fork of the Flambeau River in Price County. The old bridge in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, built in 1955, was taking a pounding from travelers, school buses, and heavy logging trucks.

In 1991, that new bridge was finished.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - It may sound like a dangerous combination, but Wine, Women, and Welding turned out to be a pretty successful event.

This was the first time the Advanced Welding Institute in Eagle River held the class.

"So far, there are a lot of smiles running around here," said AWI director Rick Riemer.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here