09 November 2017

Just Before World Cup 1 in Heerenveen, Netherlands


Jeffrey Jr. (currently in Heerenveen, Netherlands) - Got out on the ice a few times this week, following Brian Hansen, Joey Mantia, and Emery Leman on some of their fast Team Pursuit laps. The Mass Start Semi-Finals begin Friday, with the finals on Saturday! It's tough to specifically plan for the Mass Start but it's good to know your opponents, their tendencies and how to react to certain situations and at the end of the day you just got to be aggressive.

World Cup Heerenveen Schedule

Friday: 500m, Team Pursuit, Mass Start semi-finals

Saturday: 500m, 1500m, Mass Start final

Sunday: 1000m, 3/5k, Team Sprint


I, Jeffrey, will be racing tomorrow's Mass Start semi-final @ approx. 12:40pm CST and Brian Hansen will be racing in the Team Pursuit with Emery and Joey @ approx. 9:45am CST (the 1st pair of teams start at 9:45, the US team are 2nd pair right after).


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Nancy Jr. -
To watch these events can be complicated if you haven't signed up for an Icenetwork.com account. I tend to head to https://nos.nl/sport/schaatsen/ but you have to use a Netherlands IP address (I do that by using Chrome and the AnonymoX app --> https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/anonymox/icpklikeghomkemdellmmkoifgfbakio). There could be other ways, but I just don't know until I try watching tomorrow. I know ISU has a channel here: http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/isu/Speed%20Skating/ where I also believe you need an IP address from either Europe or the Netherlands, not positive though!

Or you can just look at the live results for the whole weekend here (not video, just times/placings): http://live.isuresults.eu/2017-2018/heerenveen/

If you know of any other ways, let me know or leave a comment below for everyone else to see!!!

Let the racing begin!
Jeffrey Jr. & Nancy Jr.






02 November 2017

99 days til the start of PyeongChang 2018 Olympics!

                                                                                                                            Hilary Barreto
I have written a quick update below and then following, a more personal section of thoughts from lessons I keep learning from my speedskating career.

The quick update version:

It's November FIRST y'all (can't believe it), well into our speedskating season and Jeffrey and I are currently training in Milwaukee. About 2 weeks ago we had our Fall World Cup Qualifier (our first of 2 national races each year, and the 2nd one this year is the Olympic Trials). Jeffrey qualified for the Fall World Cup team in the Mass Start (YAY!!) and I struggled through all my races, missing the Fall World Cup team. This Saturday, Jeffrey will be leaving for the first World Cup race in Heerenveen, Netherlands. This race is followed by 2 more World Cups weeks later in Calgary, Canada and Salt Lake City. We will send out updates when those race days are available to watch online. For myself, I will stay here in Milwaukee training through til the Olympic Trials (basically 8 more weeks) because they are in Milwaukee at the Pettit National Ice Center this Olympiad! :) YOU SHOULD COME watch because this happens once every four years and its local to all of you living in Wisconsin/Illinois. Details will come later when times and tickets are available. At the moment, January 2nd and 7th are the best days to come watch Jeffrey, Brian and I.


Jeffrey in the Mass Start at the Fall World Cup Qualifier where he placed 2nd overall in points: he is 3rd from the right, front row


For the more detailed explanation....keep reading!


To think of one reason why I struggled at this past competition is like trying to find a polar bear in a
snowstorm. There are just so many variables in speedskating to figure out exact reasons. Altitude, hitting my rest period wrong, equipment, a rash that I contracted from my skinsuit which was severe, past injuries, etc. It has made my mind spin thinking of what I could have done differently.

                                                                                            Hilary Barreto
Or. There is another way of thinking. I read recently the verse, "Let us run with patience." Hebrews 12:1. I faced quite a bit of trials going into the 2010 Olympic Trials and the 2010 Olympics. Though I reached my goal and beyond, it definitely set me up for what was to come in these last 8 years, which were more trials. Just when I thought I hit rock bottom, I found myself sinking deeper as I was struggling season after season. Back when I missed the 2014 Olympic team, I had a terrible 3000m race, that night I just cried and wanted to be alone in my room because I felt defeated. My mom-coach's response was..."no Nance, you need to go back to the rink tomorrow and cheer for Jeffrey, Brian and your friends. You must push through what is painful because people will be watching how you deal with failure, falling short of your goals, and struggle. It’s in this time that you have the greatest influence on people and show an even greater example of Christ in your life.”

Those words and my mom's example have stuck with me since, helping me work through more adversity and obstacles in this sport. In these recent years, I have questioned being involved in speedskating because I just seem to be stuck in the same rut of poor results. But there's always been a little voice, whether it is friends speaking into me, Jeffrey Gingold :), or the following words that I have read that remind me of the pure strength of persevering through the season and staying positive. Words that suggest an even greater strength that is hardest to obtain:

"...the power to continue working after a set-back, the power to still run with a heavy heart, and the power to perform your daily tasks with a deep sorrow in your spirit. This is a Christlike thing! Many of us could tearlessly deal with our grief if only we were allowed to do so in private. Yet what is so difficult is that most of us are called to exercise our patience not in bed, but in the open street, for all to see. We are called upon to bury our sorrows not in restful inactivity, but in active service--in our workplace, while shopping, and during social events--contributing to other people's joy. No other way of burying our sorrow is as difficult as this, for it is truly what is meant by running "with patience".    --Streams in the Desert (October 30th)
Hilary Barreto

I do want to clarify that I know my trials start in a place of privilege; that I have been given the chance to pursue dreams and not live just to survive day to day. Trials I’ve struggled through have wiped out things I hold onto dearly. Things such as identity, security, good race results, and goals that not only I have worked so hard for and have sacrificed a lot of my life to achieve, but also the team behind my brother and I. Our team (YOU, you know who you are) has poured into us by encouraging us, giving their services, sponsoring us financially, coming up to Milwaukee to experience a day in the life of a speedskater, and it motivates us to achieve results for their hard work put into Jeffrey and I. To you, our team, we can't thank you enough for the time and effort you put into us to make our speedskating career happen.

And so, over the year of my career, I’ve learned that my responsibility is to take advantage of the opportunities given to me and to put in effort. "To whom has been given much, much is expected." I've been given incredible opportunities and it’s how I use my platform, share my journey, support others, give back, volunteer, etc. that will be required of me. Already it’s a frustrating start to my season, but it’s the journey to the goals that are most influential and will impact and develop your character for life. Choosing a positive mindset while perservering through adversity has been the challenge for me when no one is watching. An Olympian's life isn't glorious behind the scenes nor does previous success guarantee future success. Each moment in life is an incredible gift, but life is a grind and always will be. You have to always put in the effort knowing that no matter the outcome, it’s been worth it.

Keep your eyes out for more blog posts to come, because both Jeffrey and I know that this is the best platform to keep everyone informed on the next 8 weeks and beyond...AND, y'all will need info on the Olympic Trials coming up so you can come watch the Olympic Trials in person! 

God Bless,
Nancy Jr.




Hilary Barreto

05 August 2017

Our First Days Back on Ice!: Just Concluded a 3-Week training Camp in Salt Lake City this Past July


(Darren ditched us and trained in Calgary, Canada, all month instead)

Without fail, that first step on the ice always feels like the first time.


08 January 2017

Final Day at the US Speedskating National Championships


Day 3 & Final Day

1000m and the Mass Start.

Jeffrey had a great 1000m by skating his fastest lap time in a race to date with a personal best time of 1:10.2, but wasn't able to achieve his goal of wanting to break the 1:10 mark and finish with a 1:09. But that is what his next race on fast ice is for :) What Jeffrey is great at is that every year, he gets a little bit better. He spends hours studying and analyzing his technique to perfect it and hopefully by next year, he will race some pretty spectacular races leading into the Olympic Trials!

Brian had a good 1000m, placing 6th overall with a time of 1:09.30 and making his comeback to skating more solidified. It's quite impressive he has only been skating for 5 months after leaving the sport for over 2 years.



The Mass Start is a strategy/training/luck race. It is a pack-style race where it is not based on time, but who crosses the line first while they race for sprint laps within the 16 lap race. The littlest thing can swing it one way or another. Jeffrey is a smart strategist, having taken 8th in the World two years ago and he really needed to win this one to make it to the Single Distance World Championships (it is equivalent to the Olympics, non Olympic year). He didn't make it, finishing in the final 5-pack all within a second, but he is going to have to grab from it the things that will make him better for the next one. He loves this race and this is one of the goals for making the Olympics next year.

Brian placed 3rd overall, just missing out on making the World Single Distance Championships :(

So in conclusion from this weekend, Jeffrey qualified to compete at World Cup 5 in Berlin in the 1500m/5k at the end of January, along with hitting some personal bests and his fastest lap time in a race!