Inline Skating Popular Among Olympic Speed Skaters
By Chris Gorski
If you’re like me, you spend some of your time on Google looking up the most recent and important inline skating related news. Although the news stream for this sport is often rather dry, lately there has been an influx of stories, and these stories are regarding many Olympic speed skaters. Turns out, many Olympic speed skaters use inline skating either as a form of training or as the jumping off point for their speed skating career.
Being touted with the onslaught of this trend is KC Boutiette, from Tacoma, Washington. He may have never actually been awarded an Olympic medal but he changed speed skating forever when he swapped his race inline skates for ice skates starting a trend we still see today.
Chad Hedrick, a name all too familiar with the inline skating crowd, has now won five Olympic medals. Chad received his start on inline skates and so did his teammate Joey Cheek. Some more, high profile skaters that laced up inline skates before their ice skates are Heather Richardson, and two time medalists Derek Parra and Jennifer Rodriguez.
We love inline skaters going to the ice and taking on the Olympics and guess what? So does the Olympics! There have been years where the Olympic committee has struggled to find participants for speed skating; so the transformation of skaters from roller to ice is ultimately widening the talent pool making the event more fun and exciting.
Speed skaters warn that although you can transfer some techniques from pavement to ice, a learning curve is definitely in order for those transitioning. It would be wise to go in humble and ensure you have all the proper technique and control first before going for speed. See you in the next Winter Olympics!