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Five For Friday: Long Track Speedskating

By Paul D. Bowker | Jan. 30, 2015, 12:01 a.m. (ET)

K.C. Boutiette in action during the men's 5,000-meter race at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games at the Oval Lingotto in Torino, Italy on Feb. 11, 2006.

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A familiar face will be seen for the first time in nine years Saturday and Sunday at the ISU speedskating world cup in Hamar, Norway, when four-time Olympian K.C. Boutiette steps on the ice.

Boutiette, 44, is returning to Norway, where he made his Olympic debut in 1994. He’ll compete Saturday in the men’s 5,000-meter race and Sunday in the 1,500-meter at the Viking Ship rink in Hamar. He also has a chance to compete in the mass start Sunday.

He has not competed in an international event since the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. He made the U.S. team at the U.S. Long Track Championships.

Boutiette began the pipeline from inline skating to speedskating in the 1990s, and two products of that conversion are medal contenders in the women’s competition: 2014 Olympians Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe, also a former women’s basketball player in college.

Bowe and Richardson both set track records at the recent U.S. Long Track Championships. Bowe broke records in the women’s 1,000- and 1,500-meter races; Richardson set her record in the 500.

And not to be forgotten is four-time Olympian Shani Davis, who won the 1,000 at the national championships.

Webcast: 8 a.m. ET Saturday and 7:15 a.m. Sunday, icenetwork.com

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.