Hey guys! Nancy Jr's been holding down the fort here, posting all of the awesome updates and videos from Sochi that Nancy Sr. sent her during the Olympics. Definately took them both a lot of time to do! Meanwhile I've been super busy as a full-time student at Wheaton College, trying to knock out some class credits before I jump back into skating (hopefully) next season. But here's a little update on Brian racing in the second to last World Cup competition of the season March 7-9.
In short, Brian won gold in the 1500 meters, bronze in the 1000 meters and got 6th place in the non-Olympic mass start race. Impressive. But what's crazy is that Brian won the 1500 meters by a whopping .7 seconds over the other skaters including Zbigniew Brodka, Koen Werweij, and Denny Morrison who won gold, silver and bronze respectively at the Olympics in Sochi...ONLY ABOUT 2 WEEKS AGO. You hardly even see a gap like that unless it's Shani Davis out front (Davis finished 4th in the 1500 meters but won the 1000 meters on March 7).
Which brings one to question whether the US speedskating team has recovered from the colossal mess at the Olympics (a mess not because of the skaters themselves–because they skated their hearts out–but as a result of our speedskating organization's mistakes in the weeks leading up to the Olympics that affected the skaters' performances). And keep in mind that Inzell, Germany, is only slightly in altitude.
Here are the impressive results from Inzell. Heather Richardsen won both 500 meter races and the 1000 meters. Brittany Bowe got second in the 1000 meters and third in the 1500 meters. Shani won the men's 1000 meters and got 4th in the 1500 meters. Brian finished third in the 1000 meters and won the 1500 meters. In addition, five US male skaters finished top 17 in the 1000 meters (A group).
Weird right? If our US speedskaters performed this well before and after the Olympics–which they did, then what happened at the Olympics? If you read Nancy Sr.'s recent posts during the Olympics, then you have an idea of what she saw happen to the US speedskaters leading up to the Olympic Games. But right now I'll leave that to you to decide what or who is to blame.
Anyways, It's good to be back! And there might be some exciting things happening with our team in the not-too-distant future, but we're hashing those ideas out at the moment so stay tuned!
Here's a Chicago Trib article on Brian's win, below.
Below: Brians 1500 meter win from Sunday in Inzell, Germany. (Keep in mind that Havard Bokko, Brian's pair, beat him in the Olympics by a .11 seconds),
Below: And a look into how Brian's unique, race prep rituals in his hotel room might help him skate so darn fast (from October),