Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

Wisconsin contributes to successful Olympic speed skaters
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

BOWLER - North Star Mohican Casino will celebrate 25 years in gaming during the month of May and throughout 2017. On  Thursday, May 25, the "Midwest's Friendliest Casino" offered a free barbecue and ceremonial cake-cutting to mark the occasion. Guests enjoyed entertainment, games, and prizes all afternoon, including musical performances by Clint Miller and Kenny James Duo.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Choosing a career path after high school can seem challenging.

However, students who want to be in the medical field were able to see what will take to follow this dream.

The Aspirus MedEvac helicopter landed on Wausau East High School's football field while students watched on Thursday.

Pilot Captain Ken Cerney says even though he isn't
Choosing a career path after high school can seem challenging.

However, students who want to be in the medical field were able to see what will take to follow this dream.

The Aspirus MedEvac helicopter landed on Wausau East High School's football field while students watched on Thursday.

Pilot Captain Ken Cerney says even though he isn't directly involved with the medical field, he has some advice for all students.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Many of us know that exciting feeling when you knock down all the bowling pins and make a strike.

One bowling alley in Merrill is trying to take the excitement up a notch with a new scoring system.

Chances are you've never seen a scoring system like the one at Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes in Merrill.

Owner Mark Bares decided to install the "SYNC" system at his bowling alley with the help of his seven kids.

"My kids liked how easy and simple this system is. Plus they liked the angry birds," says Bares.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander woman will face another day in court. Ellen Tran is charged with Second Degree Reckless Homicide.
 
Her step- son Avery Edwards died after Tran gave him a shower back in April. 

People from the Tri-County Council and Bikers Against Child Abuse were in the court room on Thursday, wearing pins and buttons to support Edwards. 

The defense tried to argue that the state didn't have enough evidence to prove probable cause to charge Tran in her stepson's death. 

Edwards was 20 months old when his stepmother, Tran, was giving him a shower on April 14.

In the criminal complaint Tran said during the shower Edwards fell, but Tran said she could not remember how he fell or what he hit. 

The Fond du Lac medical examiner later found that Edwards' death was caused by blunt force trauma.

 Tran's attorney Amy Scholtz argued there wasn't evidence that Tran caused the injury that led to Edward's death. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You'll need to look in a different place to find the Hodag Farmers' Market when it opens for the season this weekend.  But the market's move is all of about 25 yards.

The market shifted to the space where the ice rink used to be at Pioneer Park.  Vendors used to set up along the park's driveway.

Market manager Steve Richardson wanted to make the move for the last few years, then got his chance when the city tore the old rink down in 2016.

+ Read More

Play Video

WOODRUFF - The frontline against Aquatic Invasive Species starts at boat landings across the Northwoods. But understanding what you're fighting starts in Northwoods Schools.

That's why Arbor-Vitae Woodruff Elementary School teachers are teaching their students about AIS.

More than 50 fourth grade students have been learning about invasive species, participating in field work, and going on field trips through The Great Lakes Expedition. It's all part of the school's curriculum to teach fourth grade students about Wisconsin's history and geography.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - People at Rhinelander's City Hall know if you need to know a specific ordinance or resolution, you could always turn to Kathy Johnson.  That's going to change this week.  The city administrator's assistant retires at the end of the day Friday.

Johnson started working for the city five years ago.  She and her husband moved here from Rockford, Illinois.  Johnson served under four city administrators over that time, including Blaine Oborn, Phil Parkinson, Kristina Aschenbrenner, and Keith Kost.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here