Tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved in speed skating? My daughter Emily was taking figure skating lessons, learning how to skate. Her favorite part was when they had to clear the ice for the Zamboni. She would race from one end to the other, telling me how she loved going fast. After one lesson I saw a sign for the Novice Speed Skating program. That was the beginning.
How long have you been involved with the sport? 2020/21 is my daughter Emily’s eighth season as a speed skater. She started with the Novice program through the City of Roseville for the 2013/14 season.
How much time do you think you spend volunteering with your club? Approximately 10-15 hours a week throughout the year.
What is it that you do within your club? Please, name everything, don’t be modest! President of Midway Speedskating Club Board of Directors; chair for the Uniform, Marketing, and Membership committees; website upkeep; weekend racing volunteer wherever help is needed.
Have you ever/do you ever compete or is skating a fun, recreational activity for you? I have tried speed skating two times but didn’t get up much speed. I experienced enough to have a healthy respect for those who do race.
What is your favorite part about being involved in your club? I have two favorites. First has to be the great families I have met. Second is when I get to see a new club member receive their uniforms. It makes me so happy to see the kids light up, putting the jacket on right away.
When you are not at club practices/doing skating related activities, what do you do in your other free time? Photography and running are two lifelong passions.
I love taking and sharing sports-related photos. I love the challenge of shooting speed skating. I also love sharing photos with the skaters, letting them see themselves looking so powerful out on the ice.
For running, it has always been a great outlet. Training for individual and team races is my idea of fun.
How do you feel speed skating has benefited your life? Once my daughter joined the club it was like my family had expanded. The club and sport in general has introduced us to amazing people across the country.
A lot of the feedback we hear is that volunteers like the “family-atmosphere” speed skating clubs seem to provide. What is your experience? Being part of a club that has been around for 75 years takes the “family atmosphere” to a unique level. Midway includes families who are new to the sport along with those who have multiple generations of skaters who are still involved. I love seeing how families come together, helping each other as we support our kids.
What is your favorite speed skating moment?
I have found that speed skating has so many great role models who are accessible and generous with their time and encouragement. My favorite moment is one I have seen repeated several times.
My daughter’s coach, Nancy Blumel made it possible for us to meet a particular five-time gold Olympian, Bonnie Blair Cruikshank. Bonnie was watching her daughter skate but took time to talk with Emily, and pose for a photo. Bonnie even ran to her car to get a better pen to autograph a trading card Emily had brought. (I’m told it was entertaining to watch me as we met Bonnie. As a kid, speed skating was a sport I watched every four years as part of the Winter Olympics, a sport I never imagined I would have access to.)