Inline Skaters in the Olympics

Inliners Are Poised to Make Big Contribution to Team USA

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

If you watch the Olympics this month, count how many times you hear the phrase "former inline skater."

It's bound to be plenty as inline skaters (both past and present) appear likely to make their biggest-ever contribution to the U.S. speed skating team.

Of 28 members of the team, 12 are former or current inline skaters. And we're not talking about a bunch of bench warmers here.

Many—if not most—of the top skaters on the team come from the inline world.

Leading the way is inline legend Chad Hedrick. A former 50-time inline world champion, Hedrick will be competing in five long track events (all except the 500 meters) and could emerge as one of the top stories (and celebrities) of the Torino Games.

Other inline-to-ice luminaries include Apolo Anton Ohno, the world's top short track ice skater; Derek Parra, who won gold and silver in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games; and Jennifer Rodriguez, who hopes to better her 2002 medal haul: two bronzes.

If inline-to-ice team members live up to their promise, the U.S. Olympic Committee may have some explaining to do: This year it cut off funding to USA Roller Sports, the national governing body for inline skating.

Here's the list of former or present inline skaters on the U.S. Olympic speed skating team:

Chad Hedrick
Anton Apolo Ohno
Derek Parra
Jennifer Rodriguez
K.C. Boutiette
Joey Cheek
Anthony Lobello
Kimberly Derrick
Clay Mull
Charles Ryan Leveille
Allison Baver
Maria Lamb

(posted on Feb. 6, 2006)

Related reading

• Go to Olympic Viewing Guide (by time zone)

• Read more stories about Inline and the Olympics


Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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