18 January 2018

Heartache (by Nancy Sr.)

Steve Penland
We know many of you do not know or are uncertain as to the outcome of the 2018 Speedskating Olympic Trials for Jeffrey and Nancy Jr.

So many of you have supported us through so many years with heart, soul, prayers and resources. You have been our backbone and we are grateful.

It is so hard to not be able to give back to you the excitement of being able to follow us through this 2018 Olympics. But what is so unusual is that there was no expectation from you, the supporters. You have repetitively supported and encouraged us graciously and for that we are blessed. But it is still very difficult to not be able to “give you” a “team Swider-Peltz" Olympics experience.

For Nancy Jr., we knew things were seemingly not coming together to make the Olympic Team, but anything can happen and she stayed tough to the end in the face of the odds brought on by ensuing injuries from her broken back some years ago.

For Jeffrey, we knew it would be tough, but the spots he trained for and had his best chances in were the Team Pursuit and/or the Mass Start. There were 4 spots to be filled on the Team Pursuit. And at the Trials, Jeffrey earned that spot from the criteria set out and that criteria was understood as such by those skaters vying for the Team Pursuit.

Because it was discretionary, the organization decided after the races, in an unprecedented stance to take 3 team pursuit skaters instead of 4. Such a decision is one all international Olympic Team Pursuit teams, as well as International Skating Union technical members, would not agree with. We trusted the organization to make a decision in the best interest of ALL skaters. It is simply to the other 3 skaters advantage to have a prepared 4th skater in case one is unable to skate. There are also 8 spots for the men to be named to the Olympic team and that 8th spot is being left unfilled. We do not agree with the fairness or logic of this decision. The Team Pursuit is the one race where luck can come into play and the odds are greatest for medal potential because of only 8 teams in contention at the Olympics. Also upsets happen just like Nancy Jr’s 2010 Vancouver Team Pursuit team where they were seeded 8th and upset the 1st seeded team, the Canadians. That Canadian team was expected to win the gold, but the US girls knocked them out in a situation where in the beginning no one believed they could do it.

In the mass start race, Jeffrey came into the Trials in 2nd place from 2 previous team pursuit races. He needed to beat 2 guys to maintain his spot. He was second by 0.1 seconds. It could have gone another way in a moment. It was the hardest moment of his career and my coaching, accepting that 2 possible ways onto the Olympic Team were gone. 

It was his boyhood dream that in (0.1) vanished. 

Jeffrey didn’t leave a stone unturned. He was student of the sport, a technician, and made the physical and mental sacrifices necessary for this level.

Knowing the sacrifices many of you made, as well, to get him there, of course was a huge motivation in his career. 

The heartache does not just go. The harder you work the harder it is to loose. Something you sacrifice so long for, has become your life and it isn’t a simple answer. I personally as a coach am struggling almost beyond what I can handle. Jeffrey, in case there is reason to be called up, is still training to be ready. For him this is hard, but he doesn’t want regrets.

It has been my privilege and blessing to have been able to coach my two kids throughout their careers. I couldn’t be more honored. 

Many of you came, called, wrote, left messages that have overwhelmed us in a positive way. Again, we so wanted to give you all an Olympic experience with our Olympic story. It will not be, but know we will stay strong and your part and faith in us will be forever etched in our hearts and minds....of course we know to trust in God's plan and realize in the light of eternity where this moment stands.

Nancy Sr.


06 January 2018

Last 2 Days of the Olympic Trials -how/when to watch

Steve Penland
Brief recap, this past Tuesday Jeffrey raced the 5k and I, the 3k. I took 4th overall and Jeffrey placed 3rd, racing to a Personal Best on this lowland (slower) ice here in Milwaukee, a race that he was super happy about as you can tell from the picture above. So proud of him for going out and finishing strong! You can re-watch his full race below...




Now for the last 2 days of the Olympic Trials...
2 more races to go for Jeffrey, Brian and I at the US Olympic Trials here in Milwaukee, WI. Later today we will be racing the 1500m and tomorrow, the Mass Start.


For the 1500m today there are 3 spots for the men and 3 spots for the women to make the Olympic Team. The men race first. Races begin at 5:09pm CST. Jeffrey will be 9th pair going off at 5:34pm CST (approx) and Brian is 10th pair racing right after at 5:37pm CST.

For the women, start time is 6:06pm CST and I am racing in the 5th pair, going off at 6:20pm.

See below for the pairings of both the men and women's 1500m.


Tomorrow the Mass Start begins around 5pm CST. There are 2 spots for the men and 2 spots for the women to make the Olympic Team. Jeffrey, Brian and I will be racing this last race. For those attending, arrive an hour before for a chance to watch some of our warmup before we compete! 

For those that need a good explanation (super informative including history) on how the Mass Start works, thanks to Daniel Yeow, head here ---> https://www.danielyeow.com

For those of you not attending, check out the NBC schedule here on how to watch the next 2 days via live stream: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/how-watch-us-olympic-speed-skating-trials

Pics from last Tuesday's race day...
Shelby Knowles

Shelby Knowles 
Shelby Knowles
Only some of the incredible crew that came out to support and cheer on Team Swider-Peltz! So thankful 
Shelley & Steven still repping the t-shirts that they had made for my 2010 Vancouver Olympics when they came to watch! 

Shelby Knowles 
Shelby Knowles


Shelby Knowles
Shelby Knowles
Shelby Knowles
Steve Penland
Steve Penland
Shelby Knowles
Shelby Knowles


17 December 2017

Olympic Trials Tickets -details!

                                                                                                                                                      Photo Credit: Hilary Barreto

As many of you know, the long track speedskating Olympic Trials are coming up in just 2 weeks and 2 days to MILWAUKEE (Olympic Trials haven't been in Milwaukee since 1998, 20 years!) So many of you have been asking where you can buy the tickets, so below are all the details...finally!!! :) Thank you for being patient.

Olympic Trials Schedule (all in CST): 

  • Day 1 (Women 3000m/Men 5000m)
    January 2, 2018
    3:20 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Day 2 (Men & Women 1000m)
    January 3, 2018
    4:45 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Day 3 (Women 5k & Men 10k)
    January 4, 2018
    4:55 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Day 4 (Men & Women 500m)
    January 5, 2018
    3:20 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Day 5 (Men & Women 1500m)
    January 6, 2018
    5:05 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Day 6 (Women & Men Mass Start)
    January 7, 2018
    5:00 pm - 6:00 pm













Jeffrey Jr. will be racing in the 5000m, 1500m and the Mass Start.

- Nancy (myself) will be racing the 3000m, maybe the 5k, 1500m and the Mass Start. 

- Brian Hansen will be racing the 1000m, 1500m, Mass Start.

**the Mass Start is the new event of this 2018 Olympics and it is quite entertaining to watch. Instead of our typical racing in 2 separate lanes against the clock, we race against each other packstyle on the innermost lane. Its not about the time, but who crosses the line first in the 16 lap race. Points are given to the top 3 finishers. Though there is a catch...prime laps are every 4 laps and those top 3 winners get points as well, just not as many as the overall finishers. It is definitely a race not worth missing!!!

To buy tickets to the races head here:

https://pettitcenter.eventsmart.com/events/trials/

NOTE!!!! For those of you that cannot come to watch the Olympic Trials in person, they will be televised live on NBC Sports network. Schedule isn't out yet, but they're showing us live, so I'm assuming the same time as mentioned above!

For directions to the Pettit National Ice Center, see the map below

08 December 2017

World Cup #4 - Salt Lake City!



Today begins the last fall World Cup in Salt Lake City!

And today Jeffrey and Brian are both racing the Mass Start semi-finals. They will be racing this afternoon:

Mass Start semi-final #1: Brian Hansen @ 4:24pm MT (5:24 CST)
Mass Start semi-final #2: Jeffrey Swider-Peltz Jr. @ 4:39pm MT (5:39 CST)

All B group racing and the Mass Start semis should be able to be seen at this link here:

https://www.teamusa.org/US-Speedskating/News/Featured-
News/2017/December/06/World-Cup-Salt-Lake-Live-Stream

To watch the rest of the World Cup A group racing, either you need to head to http://web.icenetwork.com/home (you need a subscription) or you will have to switch IP addresses and head to http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/isu/

If Brian and Jeffrey advance to the finals (top 8 in their Semi-finals) then they will be racing Saturday in the Mass Start final. Times for that are to be determined still. Check on the ISU results site here: http://live.isuresults.eu/2017-2018/saltlakecity/ for the live results page and approx times they will be racing (which will be written on the left side of the events when updated).

Brian Hansen will also be racing the Team Pursuit today (2:11pm MT).

Tomorrow. Brian and Jeffrey hopefully are in the finals for the Mass Start. Brian will also be racing the 1500m on Saturday and on Sunday, Brian will be racing either the 1000m or the 5000m. For those updates, keep checking back to the ISU results side where the pairings will be posted the night before of who's racing and live results on the day: http://live.isuresults.eu/2017-2018/saltlakecity/

01 December 2017

World Cup #3 in Calgary, Canada, and World Cup #1 Results from Heerenveen, Holland

Hello friends! Tomorrow, I'll be racing my second World Cup Mass Start, and Brian Hansen will be racing his 1000m and the Team Pursuit with Joey Mantia and Emery Leman. Two weeks ago, World Cup #2 in Stavanger, Norway, didn't have a Mass Start race in it's program so after Heerenveen I came back to Milwaukee and put in a good couple weeks of training.

Here's what the schedule for this weekend of World Cup #3 looks like:

Saturday:

12:30 PM MT: Mens A Group 1000m (Brian Hansen)
 2:14PM MT: men’s Teams Pursuit (Brian Hansen)
3:52 PM MT: Mens Mass Start Semi-Final (Jeffrey)


Sunday:

Time TBD: Mens 1500 A Group (Brian)
Time TBD: Mens Mass Start Final (Jeffrey)

Live video stream:: http://www.speedskating.ca/events/isu-world-cup-speed-skating-3-calgary-can.
(Those in the US need to change your IP address to one in Canada)

Live results: http://live.isuresults.eu/2017-2018/calgary/index.htm

There may be a YouTube channel showing it live like there was in Heerenveen (that you wouldn't have to change your IP address for), but I don't have the link at the moment. If you have to, a quick google search may help you change your IP address but if you're not tech savvy I'm sorry! I don’t know how else to watch the races.

Sunday’s mass start final is determined by finishing top 8 in the Mass Start Semi-Final on Saturday.

(Below) As you all know, she's the strongest woman of a coach you'd ever meet–she'd put all the football coaches I've ever had to shame. This year, even though she's a 4-time Olympian and multiple–time Olympian coach, USSpeedskating isn't giving her an accreditation on the ice to coach Brian and I during these World Cup competitions, so she will have to stand outside of the pads. Somehow I think these issues that have happened over the years would't have happened if she weren't a woman.

Though the problem isn’t so much not being able to coach on the ice but the idea of respecting a coach who has contributed so much to speedskating.



Brian, me and some of the US team resting on during this Wednesday's practice.




What happened in Heerenveen?

I placed 11th out of 24 in the Semi-Final which was good but not enough to get me into the final. Yet it did keep me in the overall top 24 ranking which keeps a spot for the US in the Olympics. All this qualification stuff is so complicated! The key is that I stay top 24 overall for throughout these Fall World Cup events. 

Here's a screenshot of the overall Mass Start rankings since Heerenveen:



Racing the Mass Start Semi-Final in Heerenveen. Glancing over at Seung-Hoon Lee with Arjan Stroetinga right behind him.



Brian and I met up with Pim Cazemier in Heerenveen, our training partner from 2013.