Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ohno Skating Into Vancouver

USA Today's Vicki Michaelis had a good report this morning regarding Apolo Anton Ohno's preparations for Vancouver 2010. It would indeed be thrilling to see him skate victorious in Canada after witnessing his gold medal feat in Torino a couple of years back.

Speedskating is among my favorite Winter Games sports (both long and short track). After following Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen during the late 1980s and 1990s, interest waned until experiencing the Olympic Speedskating Ovals, first in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, Wis., home of the Pettit National Ice Center, and the 2002 Olympic speedskating venue (the Utah Olympic Oval) around Salt Lake City (a curiously simple venue by comparison to the training facility up North).

During travels to Chicago for work this past week, I drove past the Pettit Center a few times and was surprised (well, maybe not that surprised) to spot a giant inflated pumpkin -- some sort of temporary Halloween superstore -- across the parking lot from the front door to the rink. One must wonder whether there are costumes for young trick-or-treat fans who aspire to be Ohno, Jansen, Blair or other Olympic speedskating greats.

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