Masters Skater Darin Gumucio

Nov. 19, 2019, 7 a.m. (ET)

Darin Gumucio: 2019 Masters Spotlight

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved in speed skating?

My name is Darin Gumucio. I am a married father of two lovely girls. I grew up in Missouri and fell in love with speed skating when I watched Eric Heiden compete and win five gold medals in the 1980 Winter Olympics. That love simmered for a while until I was reintroduced to speed skating by watching Apolo Ohno during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Ultimately, the 2018 Winter Olympics and my new location in the Salt Lake Valley lead me to inquire about speed skating at the Utah Olympic Oval. The rest as they say is history.

What would you say are the highlights of your skating career?

My first highlight was just the honor of stepping onto the short track oval for the first day of “Learn to Speed Skate”. I was and still am truly humbled by the knowledge of the legends who had skated on that ice before me. My second highlight was being asked to join the Short Track Club by the club coach Jeff Simon which was also a very humbling experience. Jeff has been an incredible coach and mentor to me whom I now regard as a dear friend. Being able to cross for the first time followed by being able to touch the ice while cornering were significant developmental highlights for me. Other highlights include my first real competition in Desert Classic 2019 and Derek Parra’s 2019 Master’s Camp.

Favorite Moment:

My favorite moment was having my family watch and support me during my first official competition at Desert Classic 2019.

What do you do outside of skating?

I am a full-time LTC in the Utah Army National Guard. I work full-time for the state in logistics management with a specialty in armor and cavalry operations. I have been in the military for 27 years. I enjoy my family, skiing, science fiction and fantasy movies/TV, military history, and of course short track speed skating.

What’s the best part about your club and the masters community in skating?

The best part of my club and masters participation has been the ability to receive world-class short track speed skate training from amazing coaches while in the company of really great club members many of which have become dear friends.

How does skating now compare to when you first started?

Speedskating used to be very intimidating to me. I now feel like I belong on the ice speed skating with my peers. That feeling took a while for me to fully realize. I enjoy the journey more then when I first started.

What advice would you give to skaters of all ages?

To persevere and to really enjoy the journey and not to rush the journey that is short track speed skating. Becoming a good speed skater is very difficult and can feel intimidating many times. Do not let that deter you. DO NOT QUIT! Keep at it and you will get better! It will not happen overnight but it will happen as long as you do not give up. The only thing that can stop you from becoming a speed skater is you not doing it!