Biographies

 

Carlijn Schoutens - Chairman - 2018: 

carlijn.schoutens@gmail.com

Carlijn is a long track speed skater specializing in the long distances. She was born in Trenton, NJ. As a dual citizen born to Dutch parents, she moved back and forth between both countries three times throughout her life. At nineteen years old she decided to go live and train in Salt Lake City. She started out on the FAST team and in the next four years worked her way up to become a consistent World Cup Team member and an Olympian. Carlijn won a bronze medal with the team pursuit team at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang. 

Carlijn is also a medical student: she is currently in her final three years of college to become a doctor. Knowing the challenges of studying (and working) next to sports, she is available to help young skaters with their academic decisions. Speed skating, college and other extracurricular activities and volunteering work have equipped Carlijn with the leadership and team skills needed to be an effective chair of the AAC. 

 

Kristen Santos - 2018: 

Kristen is a short track speedster who has been competing on the World Cup circuit for the past four years. She grew up in Fairfield, CT where she began figure skating at the age of three and switched over to Speedskating at the age of nine. After graduating from high school Kristen moved out to Salt Lake City, UT where she currently trains with the National Team Training Program. Kristen attends the University of Utah where she studies kinesiology with the hopes of going into physical therapy. She hopes to see a decrease in the amount of athletes having to choose between school and skating. Her experiences through all stages of skating, from being on a small club team to training on the National Team, helped her understand the needs of and give voice to a vast majority of the athletes. 

 

Ian Quinn - 2018: 

ian.daniel.quinn@gmail.com

Bio coming soon.

 

Thomas Hong - 2018:

thomashong0702@gmail.com

Thomas's introduction to the sport of speed skating predates his birth; his family would would attend his older sister's speed skating practices when his mom was pregnant with him. Naturally, Thomas soon picked up the sport at age four when his family moved to the US from Korea. Thomas immediately felt enamored with the thrill of going fast. 

Presently, Thomas is an Olympian and World Record holder in short track speed skating and studies at the University of Maryland, pursuing a finance and mathematics degree. Having been on recent World Championship and Olympic teams and currently pursuing a traditional education, Thomas understands the issues facing prospective Olympians. On the Athlete Advisory Council, Thomas will serve as a fair yet stern voice on behalf of all athletes. 

 

Elli Ochowicz - 2016: 

eochowicz@gmail.com

Elli Ochowicz's longevity in speed skating speaks to the depth of experience she will contribute to the Athlete Advisory Council. She began her career as a pony girl, racing pack-style in West Allis, WI, which led to competing at the highest level of skating at three consecutive Olympic Winter Games. 

Over the years, Ochowicz has been a participant and witness to the most impactful advance in our sport: the emergence of the clap skate, development of professional teams around the globe, and the evolutionary design of the Swift Skin. "As an athlete, I experienced my own evolution and growth alongside the Sport's." says Ochowicz, "The sport of speed skating taught me about leadership, goal setting and using individual strengths to achieve team goals. These are skills I will bring to the Athletes Advisory Council today. I retired from the sport with just as much passion and excitement as I did when I was five years old. Now it is my turn to give back to the sport that has given me so much." 

 

Ryan Bedford - 2016: 

rybedford@aol.com

After retiring from speed skating in 2010, Ryan Bedford started his own business with the skills and dedication he learned from the sport of speed skating in the Milwaukee area. In this new venture, Bedford has had the opportunity to work with various different people from plumbers, carpenters and tinsmiths to brokers, bank presidents, and political figures. 

Bedford's goal of going the Athlete Advisory Council would be to bring his skating experience and his business knowledge back to US Speedskating to help the athletes. Bedford states, "I understand the struggle of today's athletes and I believe that now is the time to give back."