December 19, 2005

Mission:12 Olympic Medals: US Speedskating Official Explains How

US SPEEDSKATING Official “Our Mission is 12 Medals” In an exclusive interview with SportsFilter, US SPEEDSKATING official Melissa Scott explains why their “Mission” is 12 Olympic Medals, 1 more then the 2002 US Olympic Speedskating Team.
SportsFilter: Good Morning, Thanks for taking the time to speak with SportsFilter. I know your busy getting ready for The Salt Lake City US Long Track Championships next week (Dec 27th Thru 31st). Especially after the Exciting Short Track Championships just concluded in Marquette, MI this weekend.
Melissa Scott: Your Welcome and we are extremely busy preparing for our Long Track Championships in Salt Lake City as well as putting our efforts towards the 2006 US Olympic Team.
SportsFilter: The Short Track Championship concluded in Marquette just 2 days ago and the Short Track Team for Torino was just announced. What is your assessment of their Olympic potential?
Melissa Scott: This could be the Strongest Short Track Team we’ve sent to an Olympic Venue. Especially with the Veteran Presence of Apolo Ohno, Rusty Smith and J.P. Kepka who just won his 1st medals in World Cup Qualifying on the Men’s Team. The 2 newcomers, Alex Izykowski brings an intensity with a no quit attitude to this team and Anthony Lebello brings a huge work ethic for us.
Our Short Track Women’s Team has the amazing depth and talent with Hyo-Jung Kim and Allison Baver. Kimberly Derrick is going to get stronger as her transition from inline continues. It is quite difficult and I am proud of our coaches. This increase in the depth of our Women’s Team makes this an incredibly strong US Short Track Olympic Team.

Here is the Complete Short Track Line Up: Women and Men 500m: Kim, Baver alt. Hallisey - Ohno, Lebello alt. Kepka 1000m: Kim, Derrick alt. Baver - Ohno, Smith alt. Kepka 1500m: Kim, Baver alt. Garcia - Ohno, Izykowski alt. Smith This is Ohno’s second Olympics and Kim’s first. Ohno won the Gold Medal in the 1500 Meter and a Silver in 1000 Meter at the 2002 games in Salt Lake City. This is Baver’s and Kepka’s second trip to the Olympics. Smith and Hallisey have each made their third Olympic Team and bring tremendous experience. Izykowski, Lebello, Derrick and Garcia are making their Olympic Debut.
SportsFilter: The Long Track US Championships starts next week Dec. 27th in Salt Lake City. I understand the Long Track Team is already set in several positions. Based on World Cup Qualifying this fall. Who’s already made the Olympic Team?
Mellissa Scott: The U.S. Qualified and will bring 10 Women and 10 Men for the Speedskating Team. (Note; The term “Long Track” is not used in the Olympics, It is referred to as Speedskating and Short Track. Look for my future articles to go over the Olympic Speedskating Rules and for Coverage of the International Teams) Here’s our current prequalifiers.
Ladies 500m: Jennifer Rodriquez
Mens 500m: Joey Cheeks, Casey FitzRandolph
Ladies 1000m: Jennifer Rodriquez
Mens 1000m:Shani Davis, Joey Cheek and Casey FitzRandolph
Ladies 1500m: To be Determined in Salt Lake City
Mens 1500m: Shani Davis, Chad Hedrick
Ladies 3000m: Catherine Rainey, Margaret Crowley
Men’s 5000m: Chad Hedrick, Shani Davis, KC Boutiette
That leaves a lot of spots available and the Long Track Championships next week in Salt Lake City will determine the additional Olympic Team members.
SportsFilter: The IOC has added the Event “Team Pursuit” Did the U.S. qualify for them and if so who’s skating for the U.S.?
Melissa Scott: The U.S. Qualified both a Women’s and Men’s Pursuit Team, skaters will be determined based on the Long Track Committee’s discretion and I’m sure they will make some kind of announcement after the Salt Lake City Championships.
SportsFilter: Sounds like a Real Strong Speedskating Team being fielded by the U.S.. What are your expectations for them?
Melissa Scott: Yes, This is a very experienced and deep team going onto Torino. We’re concentrating on rounding out our Long Track Team right now and with our coaching Our Mission is 12 Medals. We’re committed to making that happen. We won 11 in Salt Lake City during 2002 with our depth of talent and experience plus the addition of Team Pursuit 12 Medals is the goal. While the International Competition has gotten stronger, we feel as an organization that US SPEEDSKATING has prepared our Olympic Team to be a Premier Team on the World Stage.
SportsFilter: Great, Thanks Melissa and Good Luck come Febuary
Paul Mabry for SportsFilter Dec. 18th 2005

posted by skydivedad to at 08:13 PM - 0 comments

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.