US Speedskating News Featured News Olympic medalist Kip...

Olympic medalist Kip Carpenter to be inducted into the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame

April 10, 2020, 11:35 a.m. (ET)

Two-time Olympian and Olympic bronze medalist Kip Carpenter (Kalamazoo, Mich.) will be inducted into the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame. Since its inception in 1960, the Speed Skating Hall of Fame has honored more than 150 skaters and contributors to the sport for their accomplishments and dedication to speedskating.

“What an honor to learn that I have been selected to be inducted into the USS Hall of Fame,” Carpenter said. “For me, this experience will be full-circle. The results I have achieved in this sport could not have happened without the essential support from USS along with family, teammates, and friends. I am and will always be forever grateful for the selfless dedication of the many individuals that stood behind me as I chased after my Olympic dreams.”

Born on April 30, 1979, Carpenter started skating at the age of 4 on an ice rink in his backyard.  His father lined the yard with plastic, flooded it and let it freeze. Carpenter, and his brother Cory, would push chairs around the ice, learning how to balance.

Although he started as a short track skater, Carpenter transitioned to long track in 1998, working with U.S. National Coach Ryan Shimabukuro who trained with him for more than four years.

“Kip was a fun skater to coach because he always brought a lot of levity to the team wherever he was, but also remained focused on getting the job done,” Shimabukuro said. “As talented as he was, he never took that for granted. He worked very hard and was very meticulous about his equipment which was both a blessing and a curse. It was a sad day when he was forced to retire prematurely due to a prolonged back injury, but I was so happy when he decided to redirect his energy and focus and give back to the sport as a coach, a role he proudly continues today. Thank you, Kip, for all that you’ve done and continue to do for the sport. It’s greatly appreciated!”

Carpenter competed in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, where he won bronze in the 500m, skating the fastest lap in Olympic history to date with a time of 24.87 for 400m. He also competed at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, along with friend and teammate Olympic champion Joey Cheek.

"When Kip switched from short track to long track he redefined what sprint technique should look like,” Cheek said. “When he became my friend he brought me Hercules plates to make sure that I had something to eat on.  And when he joined a bunch of scrappy underdogs in Salt Lake City on the national team, he set the standard for what excellence is on the ice.  He can be ornery and mercurial, but if you need him, he'll do anything to help you out.  His accomplishments speak for themselves; he's a leader, a trend setter, and without Kip Carpenter as my teammate I don't think I ever would have seen the Olympic podium."

As a member of the U.S. National Sprint Team, he finished top-10 in the 500m, 1000m and overall standings at both the 2003 and 2004 World Sprint Championships. He also achieved two top-10 finishes in the 500m at the 2003 and 2004 World Single Distance Championships and was sixth in the 1000m in 2004.

In 2005, at the World Single Distance Championships, Carpenter ranked 8th in the 500m. During the 2006-07 season he ranked, 11th in the 500m and 12th in the 1000m in the World Cup standings. At the end of the 2007-08 season, Carpenter finished 15th in the 500m and 12th in the 1000m in the 2007-08 World Cup standings.

“No one really stands on the podium alone and the experience of being inducted into the Hall of Fame for me is no different,” Carpenter said. “I am humbled by the nomination and selection.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame Awards Banquet scheduled for May 29, 2020, has been postponed until next spring.