World class inline speed skaters Michael Mulder, Joey Mantia, Heather Richardson, Brittany Bowe, Shane Dobbin, Jilleanne Rookard, and Eddy Alvarez all made the news this week for their exploits on ice in the lead up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. To cap it all off the inliners still skating on wheels got some ink!
The meatiest read of the bunch is easily the First Loser interview with Joey Mantia. The First Loser interview was conducted since the end of the U.S. Long Track Olympic Trials and has a distinctly inline feel and focus.
FirstLoser: So then, tell me, is there anything about the journey that’s been surprising to you, as in, you had no idea something was going to be so hard or so easy? What’s something that’s been unexpected?
Mantia: I guess the major shocker was how small the sport of long track ice skating really is. Sure, the recognition I experience now is bigger than inline, but that’s only because I’m going to the Olympics. Ice skating feels like this tiny little world when you’re inside of it. It was a really weird transition for me, coming from wheels. I’ll tell you this though, point-blank, long track is a man’s sport. There’s no hiding. The worthy win and the unworthy fail. It’s a study in simplicity, and that’s the odd beauty that can make an athlete fall in love with the sport if they stick with it long enough.
There were a couple other reads worth your time this week:
The New Zealand Herald profiles 34 year old Shane Dobbin, a late comer to the ice game. On his late transition to ice Dobbin was realistic:
The adaptation changes are a lot harder when you’re older. It just takes a bit more time and dedication, where I probably could have got through it a little quicker and easier when I was younger.
An AP profile of the on track rivalry and off track friendship of Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe. At least leading up to Sochi it seems that the two athletes are mentioned side by side by every media outlet.
Bowe still feels like a bit of a rookie on the ice, but she and her fellow inliners have been a huge boost to the American speedskating program.
The NSC, National SpeedSkating Circuit, got some press when The Journal Gazette covered Aaron Gettys’ qualification onto the circuit.
This Week’s Other Inline Related News: