Potential in Guarne

Oct. 20, 2010, 11:09 a.m. (ET)
Audio File Download Link - Ross Creveling Tuesday October 19th, 2010
2010 Speed World Championships Audio 1.MP3

Guarne, Colombia is a quaint little city nestled in a valley surround by mountains. There is not much here other than a magnificent hotel housing Team USA, Team Colombia, Team Holland, and Team Italy among others.
Team USA has had some mental struggles this year but with a team that has one word in their head, some of this can be expected. That word is “Medals” and preferably gold.  I asked Charlie Lucas, coach of the 2010 Team USA to describe this year’s team; he replied “much potential.”

I had the opportunity to witness the team’s practice today and there was a different “feeling” than at past championships. They seemed relaxed and focused. They seemed unified and ready to give it their best shot.

This year is honestly different from any other year that I have attended these championships. It just feels different.  That could be because so many of the faces have changed. A good example of this is that all but one of the junior girls are brand new world team members.  

Alyssa Franklin, Melissa Perry, Nicole Lloyd, Darian O’Neill, and Kimi Goetz are brand new this year. If the previous years are any indication, not only are they in for the ride of their lives but they are also in for a tremendous learning experience. For the Jr men, Sebastian Velez, Brandon Hall, and Drew Valinsky will make their debut on the team against some of the fastest and strongest skaters in the world.

The team is eating well, sleeping well, and just doing well in general.  As in past years, the staff is attentive and accommodating. If one needs a private chat, someone is available and if someone needs a massage or their back popped into place the trainer drops what he is doing and takes care of it.

Nothing that you may hear at home can take the place of being here, seeing it, feeling it, and experiencing it for yourself. It is a sight to see and a memory that will forever remain in the hearts and minds of all who attend.

One thing about worlds that never gets old is seeing skating fans ask the USA team members for their autograph. Today was extra special though, at the practice I was blessed to see, people were in the stands timing our skaters and cheering them on. You know you have something special when people show up to watch when there really isn’t anything to see but a training session.  

Once the racing starts I will be sending you daily updates on the races. I will do my best to make you feel as if you are right here beside all of us.  There will be some shockers and some surprises but then, this is Worlds.