Kimi Goetz spends much of her life on the go, whether that’s whizzing around the Utah Olympic Oval, spending time with partner Mitch Whitmore or collecting cuddles from her pooch, a Blue Heeler-Border Collie mix named Tiberius.
The pup was a birthday gift in 2019 from Whitmore, and he fit right in with the couple’s active lifestyle.
“He’s got such a great personality and so much energy,” said Goetz, now 26 and a member of the US Long Track National Team. “Which has been a really great match for us, since we are such an active couple.”
In recent years, however, Goetz has also leaned into another passion.
Having collected numerous, well-tested recipes that she “loved to cook and loved to eat,” Goetz, a native of Flemington, New Jersey, decided to compile them in a cookbook she entitled “Mindful Meals,” which is available for purchase through her Instagram page @kimigoetz.
The objective, she said, was to create a cookbook full of recipes that were more affordable, easier and healthier than the original version.
“My goal was to transform amazing recipes that have fewer ingredients,” she said, “that you didn’t have to go to a specialty grocery store to purchase.”
Goetz said that the expense of dining out also played a role in her decision to create the cookbook.
“I wanted to create something for people in the same position I’m in,” she said. “We don’t have the funds to eat out a lot, and cooking at home has become the best option.
“I think most other people are like me. Nobody wants to spend a ton of time making an expensive or elaborate meal. We want things that taste good, but are easy to make too.”
She added: “This has really been a passion project for me. It’s been great to have an endeavor outside of my skating life.”
Whitmore, himself a three-time Olympian and Goetz’s former coach, is particularly fond of her lasagna.
“Mitch would say that, hands down, that’s the best recipe in there,” Goetz laughs. “I think he would be OK with me making that every week.”
Goetz, who has spent the last six years working as a processor at a finance company, said creating the recipe book brought her to an unexpected realization: she absolutely loves cooking.
“After my skating career is over, I would love to become a dietitian and teach other individual athletes, or even entire teams, how to prepare healthy, nutritious, delicious meals for themselves and their families,” she said.
In the meantime, Goetz still spends much of her time each week on her skating.
After coming up in the sport as a short track skater, including reaching multiple world championships for Team USA, Goetz two years ago made the switch to long track. It was a significant move.
“I was suffering from a pretty significant back injury, and the tight turns in short track racing were putting too much pressure on my lower back,” said Goetz, who started inline skating at 8 and moved to the ice in 2012.
Whitmore was influential in her decision.
“I was worried about losing my love of the sport, just because I was injured,” she said. “I knew I needed to try something different.”
Others in the sport were surprised when Goetz decided to transition to long track, but she knew immediately she had made the right decision.
“Competing in short track, you’re in a really combative situation with the other racers. You’re in a pack, there’s a lot of contact, it’s pretty physical,” she said. “There are just too many variables.”
Goetz found she much preferred competing on the 400-meter oval, against the clock and just one competitor. It was a big change from skating on the much smaller 111-meter oval with five other competitors racing on the ice.
“It’s much easier to prepare with mental imagery because when you’re skating by yourself, you know what to expect,” she said. “I can imagine the entire race and can plan accordingly.”
With travel restrictions still in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming competitive landscape remains unsure. The ISU recently announced it was considering a hub concept to host world cup competitions in early 2021 in the Netherlands, but other events have already been canceled, including the Four Continents Championships that were scheduled to take place in January in Calgary, Alberta.
Nonetheless, Goetz says she will to continue to train with February’s world championships and the 2022 Olympic Winter Games — both set to take place in Beijing — as her main focus.
“I’m just continuing to train with the world championships and Olympics in mind,” Goetz said. “Any other competition I’m able to participate in at this point is just a huge bonus.”
Scottie Bibb is a writer from Colorado. She is a freelance contributor to USSpeedskating.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.