Caln speed skaters heading to national competition

July 10, 2014, 12:19 p.m. (ET)
The team stretching at the Caln Skating Center at one of its practices. 

Speed skating has been an important part of Chris Weiderhold’s life for nearly as long as he can remember.

Weiderhold and his two brothers grew up skating and racing each other at the Caln Skating Center where his father, Jim, started coaching a team in 1983. They attended their first competition together in 1985.

“Our family was together all the time,” Jim said. “As the kids grew up, we were all here together. We never became distant, and I attribute that to this sport.”

When the Caln Skating Center closed in 2005, Jim moved on to coach at a rink in Reading, and Weiderhold worked in Information Technology at Armstrong World Industries.

In March of 2013, the Caln Skating Center’s manager approached Weiderhold and asked him if he would be interested in starting up a speed team. At the time, Weiderhold, who was going through a divorce, had just moved in with his father after his mother died. He decided to give coaching a go.

“I do this voluntarily, and I don’t get paid a dime!” Weiderhold said.

Around seven skaters showed up at Weiderhold’s first lesson, but by Dec. 30, more than 30 skaters from ages 5 to 47 skated at the center, and five of those skaters qualified for the 2014 Indoor Speed Skating National Championships in Lincoln, Neb., from July 11-19.

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