Loading

71°F

70°F

72°F

69°F

72°F

69°F

70°F

74°F

72°F
NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin contributes to successful Olympic speed skaters Submitted: 02/10/2014
Shardaa Gray
Reporter/Anchor
sgray@wjfw.com


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
Rhinelander Food Pantry needs volunteers to help move to new locationSubmitted: 09/02/2014

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Food Pantry could use more volunteers to help move to their new location.

The pantry will move into the old Golden Harvest building.

But before they move they need to make some changes to the building.

One of those changes is building a new wall.

"It will separate the distribution area from the storage area," says Rhinelander Food Pantry volunteer Bill Vancos. "The distribution area will end up being about twice the size of what our current area is right now at the current location, so that'll be great. And then we'll also have the storage all on one level."

+ Read More
Another try for White Lake referendum after two-vote failureSubmitted: 09/02/2014

WHITE LAKE - A big part of the community in White Lake takes its small rural school very seriously.

Two years ago, the community helped build a brand new gym and fitness center at the school.

The wood for the basketball floor was even donated by local loggers.

Each grade level at the school has only about 15 students.

Despite its size, for many, it's still the center of the community.

+ Read More
Updated--ATV rider killed in crash along Highway 29 Submitted: 09/02/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - A Marathon County man died when his ATV crashed on Highway 29.

Deputies were called at 9:42 yesterday morning with a report of the accident in the town of Rib Falls.

The man riding the ATV was dead at the scene.

He had been heading north on Cardinal Lane and went across Highway 29, apparently headed for 9th Avenue.

Instead, the ATV collided with two cars on Highway 29.


+ Read More
Phelps to welcome business incubatorSubmitted: 09/02/2014

PHELPS - The Vilas County Economic Development Corporation will open a business incubator in Phelps.

New chairman Carl Ruedebusch bought a 9,000 square foot building.

It will give small businesses space to develop and share resources.

Leaders hope it will also bring some much needed businesses to the community.

+ Read More
Watch out for kids as school resumesSubmitted: 09/02/2014

RHINELANDER - Students went back to class in many districts across Wisconsin Tuesday morning.

The Wisconsin State Patrol wants drivers to watch out for them.

Some kids might get to and from school on their bikes.

It's the law to give bikers three feet of space when you're passing them.

You also need to stay 20 feet away from stopped school buses.

Parents should make sure their kids know how to stay safe on their way to and from school.

Kids need to watch out for traffic.

Parents should remind them texting while walking can be a distraction.

+ Read More
Boy found safe after becoming lost in the woodsSubmitted: 09/02/2014

FLORENCE COUNTY - A family in Florence County needed help finding their three-year-old after he disappeared in the woods Monday.

The boy was missing for nearly two hours Monday morning.

The family was packing up to head home when the boy wandered away around 9:15.

He had walked about a half mile into the woods.

The family says he was very wet but healthy.

+ Read More
State seeks feedback on unemployment insurance systemSubmitted: 09/01/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - More than 50,000 people in Wisconsin apply for unemployment benefits every week.

Now, the state Department of Workforce Development wants to know how it can improve the unemployment insurance system.

"Our Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council really likes to get out there and hear firsthand from those who deal with that system directly. We're looking for their suggestions and their ideas on what we might do to make the system even better," said Dave Anderson, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the state Department of Workforce Development.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here