Ice skating:

Young Hedrick Predicted, 'You Won't Be Able To Catch Me'

Veteran Inline Racer Remembers His First Meeting With the Future Champ

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

Chad Hedrick may be sleeping in the Olympic Village these days. But it wasn't always that way.

In fact, on the night before one of his first outdoor races (14 years ago), he slept on the floor with fellow skaters stepping on his head all night long, says veteran inline racer Jonathan Seutter.

Even back then, at 15, the kid had confidence, says Seutter, who these days is a partner in the Tusa frame company.

During the next day's criterium, the older, more experienced skaters razzed Hedrick after he tried repeatedly to break way from the pack. Hedrick's prescient reply: "One of these days, I'll break away and you won't be able to catch me."

Here's Seutter's recollection of the first time he met the future Olympian:

It was one of his first outdoor races. He was about fifteen. It was in Pittsburgh; I think in early 1992.

He and I and a few other people were crammed into this motor home overnight. I had provided the race insurance so they treated me good. So in the motor home, I got the best bed and he got the worst because he was the youngest.

There were about four or five other people in there with us. We put him on the floor next to the bathroom, and everybody stepped on his head to open the door to the bathroom all night long. ... I'm not kidding.

And then the next day, in this outdoor race, he tried to break away two, three, four times. And all these guys — the Muse brothers and everybody else — they were like, "Idiot, what are you doing?" And he's like, "Yeah, you'll see. One of these days, I'll break away and you won't be able to catch me."

Postscript: Seutter recalls that Chad finished in the top five or ten in the criterium.

(Got a Chad story? ... Post it here!)

(Posted on Feb. 9, 2006)



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Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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