By Gary D’Amato of the Journal Sentinel
June 24, 2014
Like just about everyone associated with speedskating in the United States, Tom Cushman was saddened by the Americans' dismal performance at the Winter Olympics.
"The results in Sochi were heartbreaking," Cushman said of the long-track team, which was shut out of the medals for the first time in 30 years.
Now, he'll get to do something about it.
Cushman and Matt Kooreman were named national allround and sprint coaches, respectively, by U.S. Speedskating last week. The federation previously had named Jonathon Cavar national short-track coach.
Cushman and Kooreman have deep roots in the sport as athletes and coaches and more recently worked with U.S. Speedskating's high-level development team at the Utah Olympic Oval.
"Matt and I have worked together the last two years," Cushman said. "I enjoy working with him. He is so responsible. He is prepared. He's organized. We get along very well."
One change the new coaches will institute is combining the allround and sprint teams.
"We plan on running the programs together and having a unified team," Cushman said. "I think it's a departure from what's been done. There's always been cooperation but I think we're looking at it as one team with individual specialties."
Cushman, 50, competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics and won multiple World Cup medals. This is his second go-round as a national team coach. He was a U.S. Speedskating coach from 2000-'06 and coached the allround team from 2000-'02.
Among the athletes he coached were Chris Witty, Jen Rodriguez and Chad Hedrick, all of whom won Olympic medals.