Loading

44°F

43°F

45°F

44°F

45°F

44°F

45°F

46°F

45°F
NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin contributes to successful Olympic speed skaters Submitted: 02/10/2014

Shardaa Gray
Reporter/Anchor
sgray@wjfw.com

Play Video

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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/23/2014

- You can vote in the upcoming election before November 4th. In-person absentee voting started Monday. We'll tell you what Northwoods clerks say about how the process has been going.

- Plus, North Central Technical College recently received a huge grant that will go to their geriatric healthcare program. We'll hear from leaders at NTC on why the money is so important to our community.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More
Appeals court rejects John Doe rehearing requestSubmitted: 10/23/2014

MADISON - A federal appeals court has unanimously rejected a conservative group's request to reconsider a ruling last month tossing a lawsuit challenging an investigation into possible illegal campaign coordination.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected the request from Wisconsin Club for Growth to rehear the case after a three-judge panel last month sided with investigators.

+ Read More
Dems fault Walker for not seeking preschool grantSubmitted: 10/23/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has not applied for up to $60 million in preschool development grants from the federal government, a move Democrats decried as irresponsible.

The deadline for states to apply for as much as $250 million from the U.S. departments of Education and Health and Human Services is Friday.

+ Read More
Hunters kill 98 Wisconsin wolves, season could be over soonSubmitted: 10/23/2014

WISCONSIN - It looks like Wisconsin's third wolf season could be over soon.

The season began on Oct. 15. It's slated to run until Feb. 28 or until hunters reach the 150-animal statewide kill limit.

The Department of Natural Resources says hunters had bagged 98 wolves as of Wednesday, leaving them 52 shy of the statewide quota. The DNR closed four of its six wolf zones over the last week after hunters quickly reached or exceeded zone-specific kill limits.

+ Read More
Trial continues in 2008 Wisconsin Rapids killingSubmitted: 10/23/2014

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Jurors have watched a 7-year-old police interview with a 55-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man accused in a shooting death.

Joseph Reinwand is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Dale Meister. The 35-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man was found dead in his home on March 4, 2008.

+ Read More
Northwoods farmers behind on corn harvestSubmitted: 10/22/2014

Play Video

ANTIGO - Some corn farmers in Wisconsin need to catch up on harvesting.

One Northwoods farmer is about 2 weeks behind this year. But that doesn't necessarily mean the worst.

Dairy farmer Butch Maly in Antigo wishes his corn season started a few weeks earlier.

+ Read More
Gun deer hunt brings business to the Northwoods, some worry new rules could affect tourismSubmitted: 10/22/2014

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Some Northwoods businesses worry that new deer hunt regulations could hurt tourism.

The gun deer hunt brings traffic to area businesses after the summer is over, but new rules could keep people from traveling up north.

"Several guests have called and some have cancelled because they say that there's not going to be any doe tags being issued in this area," says Hiawatha Lodge owner Scott Frickson.

You can't get an antlerless deer tag in Wisconsin north of Marathon County.
That could lead to less hunting tourism in the Northwoods.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here