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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old March 3rd, 2018, 10:45 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lomita, Ca, work in El Segundo, CA
Posts: 979
Smile I got this email from USA Roller Sports:

I'm a member because I bought a amateur card...lol!

I thought I would share it. I'm not sure if anybody is interested...lol! But here goes.

Feel Good Friday Message from Tony Muse:

Here are a couple thoughts after reading other posts on Olympics and roller sports.

1) I love how the inline skaters have been able to transfer over to ice and have a bit of success. It is easy to arm chair quarterback and say a 4-10 Olympic result is not good enough but if you check Team USA's recent results on the asphalt, most of our skaters would love a 4-10 result in the world.

I also know first hand how hard it is/would be to make the transition AFTER you have had success on inlines. Many years ago, D.D. Parra and I went to skate for the first time and for a week on the ice together in Milwaukee. I would argue that D.D. and I both were better than the average bear on ice but neither of us would be record breakers.

At the time, I was making good money and supporting a lifestyle based on my inline skating. I felt like I needed to live off of the success of wheels rather than try and muster the fire it would take to rebuild and start near the bottom on ice. D.D. decided to skate on the ice and his story turned out amazing. I didn't have that fire and passion so I chose to stay on wheels and I have a pretty good story as well.

The key part of that is the "Fire and Passion". It requires full commitment or if you have ever been coached by me..."burning the ships" if you dare to dream of being the best in the world (Olympic champion). Walking away from the fame, money and even the confidence that being the best in the world at something brings is a tough pill to swallow.

Throw in that you will be starting near the bottom and have limited support while having to be fully dedicated and you can see the problems. It is a huge risk and on top of the physical learning curve, the mental struggle would be no easy task. I am proud of anyone who is willing to risk it all and put themselves out there as these inliners to ice have done.

Watching the NZ pursuit team (Shane Dobbin, Peter Michael, Reyon Kay) fight for gold and digging deep as underdogs is exactly how I remember racing anyone from NZ. Seeing Brittany Bowe come back so strong from a rough injury is the perseverance we Americans like to see in our hero's . Screaming with passion at the TV when Bart Swings threw everything at the chase for Gold by going way early while racing against the pack and especially the top two countries who were throwing two athletes each at him. He was fearless and with a plan. Even seeing the way Joey Mantia and Heather Richardson Bergsma kept their heads up and how they handled them selves was Olympic.

In my opinion, they had more pressure on them than any inline skater pre Olympic in history. They are still standing tall and heroic to me. Even after the medals, look at how well our skaters Apolo Anton Ohno and Joey William Joseph Cheek did announcing. For the first time I felt like I was getting the insight the sport deserved.

2) Why do we have to be so upset that roller skating is not an Olympic sport? We skaters all knew we were getting into a niche sport when we started. We all have experienced having to explain to people what we do with our time, money and passion. We don't do and didn't do what we did for others... we did it for ourselves and to prove to ourselves that we could master a craft.

Yes, Olympics are the brand everyone knows but the term "world champion" is also pretty self explanatory as well. Yes, the free clothes and swag are cool but I think Powerslide/Matter Racing makes pretty cool swag as well that the bobsledders don't get...TV....yes, it is fun to be in the spot light and have people know your name in public but I imagine that also has it's draw backs. We are who we are, Olympic or not. Are we great athletes? I imagine we could hold our own on most playgrounds. We have sent a few roller skaters to the Olympics not just in ice speed skating, but also in bike racing.

I remember being young and not wanting to tell people I was a roller speed skater. I was kind of embarrassed and I also did not want to explain what roller speed skating was since that was always their next question. At some point, I had a "sports" revelation. I think it was because I had to validate all of the training to myself, but on that day, I decided that I was proud of who I was and that I was thankful that I had the gift that I did. From then on, I proudly told people I was a roller speed skater and I remember when that happened, the sport opened up for me in a whole new way.

In my VERY biased mind, I feel like I (not just Dante and I), had a handful of years where I defined the sport and was allowed to carry our banner. Looking back, It took for me to embrace the sport in order for me to get to that position and I think it would be best for roller sports if we also embrace who we are and proclaim it instead of worrying about what we are not."

Tony Muse
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Old March 4th, 2018, 03:58 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: London
Posts: 1,098

I'm not sure if you're aware of the recent split in speed skating. I'm not the best person to explain it since I spent the last couple of years living abroad, but I'll give it a shot.

USARS has come under a fair amount of fire in speed skating. A lot of that has focused on the inability to grow interest in the sport. One commonly cited failure has been the attempts to get into the Olympics. This has been attempted for decades with very limited success (I think it was an exhibition sport one time). Because of this along with decreasing participation rates and some debt issues, many skaters decided that USARS was no longer the best organization to run speed skating.

About 2 years ago a new speed skating league was formed with some high profile members. The split has not always been perfectly amicable.
You don't improve by training until it hurts; you improve by training after it hurts.

I love the phrase "I quit". It beats more of my opponents than I do.
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Old March 4th, 2018, 05:21 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lomita, Ca, work in El Segundo, CA
Posts: 979
Smile Thanks for the info.

I'm not a speed skater, but I just thought I would pass some information along. In the original speed letter there was a hint of something going on.

I think you explained it. So now I'm more informed...lol

Thanks for the information. I hope to make it to a speed event or Roller Derby event in the near future. I might even try to make it to "Rexing" roller skating event.

I'm an "Artistic" skater and compete, but the different columns in SkatelogForum got me interested in other venues besides my own.

Been gone from skating for about 40 years and just got back into it after 40 years...lol! I'm 63. Been back into it for a year and half..lol!


Larry O
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