US Speedskating News Featured News The Unexpected Journ...

The Unexpected Journey to Sochi

Feb. 24, 2014, 2:02 p.m. (ET)

As his skate crossed the finish line at US Speedskating Olympic Trials, Patrick Meek was instantly flooded with a mix of emotions. He just made the Olympic team and at that moment he realized all his hard work and preparation had begun to pay off. But that was just the beginning as his journey was about to continue to Sochi. Training and preparing to compete against the best in the world is not an easy task but his determination helped him get to where he is today – heading to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

For Patrick, a Long Track Speedskater, preparing for the Olympics was a tough journey. He trained in Salt Lake City for 6 to 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. His training days consisted of skating on the ice in the morning and working out in the gym in the afternoon. As a first time Olympian, he did not know what to expect so he planned for the worst case scenario. He said, “I am a big believer in leaving nothing to chance so every insurance has been made for me to be ready.”

With a lower altitude track in Sochi, the ice conditions are slower than what our Olympians are accustom to. This created another obstacle that Patrick and the rest of US Speedskating athletes. In order to get acclimated with this significant change, Team USA arrived in Sochi on January 30th, a week prior to the start of the Olympics, to get some practice in. Their sports psychologists worked to help get them prepared mentally, while their coaches worked with them on the physical obstacles of the race. When Patrick arrived in Sochi, his schedule remained the same. Sticking to the same routine, doing the same warm up and eating the same was part of his plan while in Sochi. Watch Patrick’s Google+ Hangout to learn more about his journey to Sochi.

On February 8th, Patrick raced in his first Olympics in the 5000m. As fate had it, Patrick was greeted with yet another obstacle. He was the first athlete to compete in the race giving him no insight to the pace needed for a gold medal. Due to the slower ice, Patrick became tired toward the end of the race. He finished the 5000m race in Sochi at 6:32:94. On February 18th, Patrick got an unexpected opportunity to race in the 10000m and he finished in 11th place. Although he did not medal, getting to Sochi and competing in the Olympics is an outstanding accomplishment in itself.

Just as our athletes prepared for the unexpected obstacles at the Olympics, at Liberty Mutual Insurance, we support our customers and provide them with the coverage they need to prepare for the unexpected obstacles in life. Whether you encounter an unexpected obstacle on the road, at home or in life, Liberty Mutual Insurance is here to help you. Unexpected obstacles will arise in your life and being prepared makes overcoming these challenges manageable. Visit to find the right coverage you need to be prepared for your journey in life.


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Making it to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as a Team USA athlete requires the ability to come back time and again, with extraordinary discipline, determination, and the help of coaches, friends, family and fellow athletes. At Liberty Mutual, we help our personal and business customers come back every day, whether from minor accidents or major catastrophes, to help make sure they can continue the journeys they’re on.

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Patrick Meek