Loading

65°F

64°F

66°F

64°F

67°F

66°F

67°F

64°F

65°F

67°F

66°F

62°F
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

Play Video

MINOCQUA - This year, the Lakeland area will pack its millionth food packet to send to hungry kids around the world.

Volunteers work with Food For Kidz to measure and package dry food.

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - Many people may go out of town for Labor Day Weekend, but not in Crandon.

In fact, people from all over the country are coming in town for the 46th annual World Championship Off-Road Races.

The races started Friday night and continue throughout the weekend, with championship races occuring on Saturday and Sunday.

The event's parade attracted hundreds of people in downtown Crandon on Friday afternoon.

Event organizers say there are about 145 racers. They are hoping for thousands of spectators.

"Labor Day Weekend is a happening in Crandon," said Crandon International Off-Road Raceway Cliff Flannery said. "

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Miracles and Wind meet up at ArtStarts latest exhibit.

The two latest exhibits, "Everything is a Miracle" and "Wind", open September 4th at ArtStart in Rhinelander.
Michael Velliquette and Marketa Sivek's art will be featured until November 7th.

Their work strays from the realism of the last two exhibits.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - The owner of the Wausau Center Mall has requested a $4.1 million loan from the city of Wausau, according to information released Friday.

The request from CBL Associates is for a 20-year loan with a two percent interest rate.

The mall hasn't done well since the anchor store JC Penney left in 2014.

+ Read More

Play Video

LANGLADE COUNTY - Lake property owners in the Northwoods often care deeply about the health and well-being of their lakes. The people who live around Rolling Stone Lake in northern Langlade County are just one example.

The lake has a weed cutter machine, a large storage and maintenance building, and public land. Members around the lake pay a little extra tax for those things. But the lake district will also raise thousands of dollars this weekend. They're hosting a picnic, rummage sale, raffles, and bake sale for their lake.

"It's really the best-kept secret in the Northwoods, I think," said Char Waite, a member of the Rolling Stone Lake Protecting and Rehabilitation District. "It's quiet. It's a great lake to fish. It's a great lake to boat. We just love it here."

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Some school board members in the Northwoods run unopposed, but that could change in Tomahawk.

Ken Schulz is one of the more than 100 community members who want change.

The change could mean there's only seven people on the Tomahawk School Board instead of nine. 
 
Schulz is the former school board president.

+ Read More

Play Video

WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.

But state Democrats aren't forgetting about the mining issue. They're proposing a bill which they say would close a loophole in the state's 2013 mining law. That law relaxed the permitting process for iron mines.

The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here