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Ice Skating and the Turin Olympic Games
Inline Planet news and articles about ice skating and nordic skating, listed in reverse chronological order:

Hometown Emulates Joey Cheek
Greensboro, N.C., is honoring hometown hero Joey Cheek by following his lead. It hopes to raise $80,000 for the Olympic champion's favorite charities during its Joey Cheek Day celebration Thursday. The former inline racer donated $40,000 of his Olympic earnings to help poor children in Darfur, Africa. (Go to News-Record story.) (March 21, 2006)

Chad Falters in Final Event of All-Arounds
Chad Hedrick needed a fast time in the final event at the World All-Around Championships on Sunday in Calgary. Instead, the inline champion forgot to make a required lane change in the 10,000 meters and was disqualified. That gave the All-Around title to USA's Shani Davis, who had a great meet, setting two world records. Davis was notably gracious in victory, noting that Hedrick has only been skating on ice for a few years. (Go to All-Around results.) (Go to Chi-Trib story.)

Shani Holds Slim Lead Over Chad
At the halfway point, Shani Davis holds a slim lead over Chad Hedrick in the World All-Around Championships in Calgary. Davis won today's 500 meters and finished fourth in the 5000 meter. Hedrick, the former inline champ, finished third in the 500 meters and second in the 5000 meters. The title will be settled tomorrow when the skaters line up for the 1500 and 10,000 meters. Italian Enrico Fabris sits in third place. (Go to results.) (March 18, 2006)

Hedrick Weighs His Options
Thumbnail of Chad Hedrick
The asphalt has turned to gold for inline legend and now Olympic champion Chad Hedrick. With the Torino Games behind him, the endorsements, television appearances and movie scripts keep coming. But Hedrick is also looking for a way to give back to inline skating. (Go to the Planet story.) (March 8, 2006)

Hedrick Earns 1500 Meter Vindication
Hedrick thumbnail
Chad Hedrick turned the tables Sunday on Enrico Fabris and Shani Davis, out-skating both of them to win the 1500 meters at the final race of the World Cup of ice speed skating. The win in Heerenveen, Netherlands, gave the veteran inline champion the 1500-meter title. Hedrick did not fair as well in the event two weeks ago at the Torino Olympic Games. He finished third behind Fabris, who took the gold, and Davis, who took the silver. (Go to results.) (March 6, 2006)

Breakfast of Well Behaved Champions
Thumbnail of Apolo Anton Ohno' Wheaties box
General Mills announced today that former inline skaters Joey Cheek and Apolo Anton Ohno will be featured on limited edition boxes of Wheaties. The company made no mention of Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis, who also won gold medals in Turin. Apparently they proved too controversial for the Breakfast of Champions. (Go to press release with photos.) (March 1, 2006)

Inliners Save Team USA! - Former inline skaters accounted for nearly a third of all the medals won by the U.S. Olympic team. ... And here's the kicker: the U.S. Olympic Committee has cut off funding for the national governing body of inline skating! .... Hard to figure? (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 27, 2006)

Spoiler Alert! ... Hedrick's Final Race in Torino - Chad photo of Chad HedrickHedrick finished (CENSORED) in today's 10,000 meters in Torino. The event left the former inline champion with (CENSORED) medals. So what is the 28-year-old Texan going to do next? That's censored, too, for the benefit of TV viewers who don't want the ending given away before they see it for themselves. (But if you're ready for the factoids, go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 24, 2006)

Parra Hangs Up His Skates parra photo- After a long career that catapulted him to the top of both of the inline and ice speed skating worlds, Derek Parra is retiring. The 36-year-old California native made the announcement Tuesday after skating his final event, the 1500 meters, of the Torino Winter Games. Parra finished 19th. Four years earlier in Salt Lake City, he won gold in the 1500 meters and silver in 5000 meters. "It's been a great journey," he said. "But I've got to try to move on." (Go to San Antonio Express News story.) (Feb. 23, 2006)

Hedrick Tries for Second Gold Today - With the Shani photo of chad hedrickDavis fued apparently over, former inline champion Chad Hedrick takes center stage in Turin again today, as he competes in the 10,000 meters, in which he is the world record holder. Hedrick and Davis reportedly buried the hatchet after the 1500-meter medal ceremony. So far, Shani is leading the U.S. medal contest with a gold and a silver. Hedrick has a gold and a bronze. But the top speed skater of the games is Italian Enrico Fabris with two golds and a bronze. (Results coming up soon.) (Feb. 24, 2006)

Parra Hangs Up His Skates - After a long career that catapulted him to the top of both of the inline and ice speed skating worlds, Derek Parra is retiring. The 36-year-old California native made the announcement Tuesday after skating his final event, the 1500 meters, of the Torino Winter Games. Parra finished 19th. Four years earlier in Salt Lake City, he won gold in the 1500 meters and silver in 5000 meters. "It's been a great journey," he said. "But I've got to try to move on." (Go to San Antonio Express-News story.) (Feb. 23, 2006)

Olympic Viewing Guide: Week 2 - The second and final week of the Torino Games promises lots of excitement, starting tomorrow with Shani Davis, Joey Cheek and Chad Hedrick doing battle in the 1000 meters. To make sure you don't miss any thing, we've posted Week 2 of our Olympic Viewing Guide. Once again, it's separated into four parts: one for each major North American time zone. (Go to the Planet's Olympic Viewing Guide.) (Feb. 17, 2006)

Hedrick Makes Transition to Comedy - Inline-to-ice champion Chad Hedrick collected another honor last night: He presented the Top Ten List on the Late Show with David Letterman. The topic, not surprisingly, was "Good Things About Winning a Gold Medal." (No. 9: "For one week, the government won't tap my phone.") Hedrick, the sudden superstar, delivered his lines with a big smile. He was videotaped in Turin earlier in the day. (Go to Late Show web page, click on Big Show Highlight for video.) (Read the Top Ten List.) (Feb. 16, 2006)

USA's Inline Double Dip - What explains USA's position at the top of the speed skating universe? Gerard Kemkers, coach of the Dutch Olympic team, gives the nod to inline skating. "Because of the influx of inline skaters, they are able to draw from two wells," Kemkers says. (Go to the AP story.) (Go to the Planet's Olympic coverage.) (Feb. 15, 2006)

Inline Gold Rush! ... Joey Cheek's Will to Win - For former inline skater Joey Cheek, it was never a question of whether he could make it on ice—just how long it would take. That's part of what we learned when we talked to the new gold medalist's first ice coach, Kent Thometz. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 13, 2006)

Hedrick Wins First Gold - Fifty-time inline world champion Chad Hedrick won the 5000 meters today to claim the first U.S. gold medal of the Torino Winter Games. Hedrick's time was 6 minutes and 14.68 seconds, .02 seconds off the Olympic record. The 5000 meters is considered the Texan's strongest event. But he has a shot at five medals. Two other former inline skaters raced in the 5000 meters: Italy's Ippolito Sanfrantello finished 12th; USA's KC Boutiette finished 17th. USA's Shani Davis posted the fastest times for the early laps of the race but faded to seventh place. ... Hedrick's next race, the team pursuit, comes Thursday. (Go to NBC results page.) (Feb. 11, 2006)

Watch Chad Race for Gold! - Chad Hedrick will make his Olympic debut Saturday in the 5000 meters. The 50-time inline world champion is the favorite for the gold. Former inline skater KC Boutiette is also entered in the event. NBC's coverage starts at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. (Go to the Planet's Olympic Viewing Guide for show times by time zone.) (Feb. 10, 2006)

Young Chad: Sleeping on the Floor - It wasn't always talk shows and glory for Olympic speed skater Chad Hedrick. The night before one of his first outdoor races, he slept on the floor next to the bathroom with skaters stepping on his head all night long. (Don't believe it? Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 9, 2006)

Inliners Poised for Their Olympic Moment - Rejected as an Olympic sport, inline skating will nonetheless provide a subplot for the Torino Games, as commentators talk about the new-found strength of the inline-fortified U.S. speed skating team. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 6, 2006)

'Inliners Love to Race!' - Another newspaper story is taking note of inline's major contribution to the U.S. speedskating team. "Nearly half of the U.S. team has an inline background," coos the Miami Herald. The story quotes U.S. long track coach Tom Cushman saying that inliners tend to succeed on ice because they develop great leg strength racing on pavement, and guts from racing in packs. "Inliners love to race, and a lot of them are great athletes," he says. ... One thing the story doesn't mention is the way the US Olympic Committee abruptly cut off funding for inline skating this year! (Go to Miami herald story.) (Go to Planet story about USOC funding.) (Feb. 5, 2006)

Ice Skaters Suffer More Head Injuries - Ice skaters may suffer less road rash than their inline counterparts. But they make up for it with more head injuries, according to a new study. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 1, 2006)

NBC Pays Homage to Inline - As part of its pre-Olympic buildup, NBC has posted a story titled: "Inline to Ice: Why the top U.S. speed skaters traded in their wheels for clap skates." While the story contains some ice-centric bias (such as a former U.S. ice coach saying, "You need to tell those inline skaters what skating is."), it also gives inline its due. The story is illustrated with several photos of inline champions and includes a short video of Chad Hedrick and Derek Parra competing on inlines and another in which Hedrick notes that ice skaters are now copying his style. (Go to NBC story.) (Jan. 27, 2006)

'I Came From Inline!' - Chad Hedrick, one of the brightest star of the U.S. Olympic team, is letting the world know where he got his start. "I came from inline skating," the Texan proclaims in a story by the Scripps Howard News Service. "That's always going to be a part of my training." Hedrick said he continues to train two or three times a week on inline skates using a treadmill. He quit training with the national team due to its rigid program. "He saw no need to train on a bike or give up inline skating," the story says. (Go to the wire story.) (Jan. 24, 2006)

Joey Cheek Wins Sprint Championships - The U.S. ice speed skating team would be some kind of pathetic without inline skaters! This was made clear again Sunday when former inliner Joey Cheek won the world sprint speedskating championship in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Cheek, 26, switched to ice 10 years ago after a career as a inline junior national champion. He was a member of two U.S. inline world teams. His first big success on ice came in 2002, when he won a bronze in the 1000 meters at the Winter Olympics. (Go to AP story about Cheek's sprint victory.) (Jan. 23, 2006)

Skater Overcomes Broken Back to Reach Olympics - Charles Ryan Leveille was one of the inline speed skaters who flocked to the ice after the 2002 Olympics. A former inline champion (known as Ryan Cox), he did well. But in early 2004, he slipped during practice, slid into a wall and shattered a vertebra in his lower back. After a long recovery, he returned to short-track ice and then switched to long-track. His determination paid off last month when he won a spot on the U.S. speed skating team along with six other inline skaters. (Go to AP story.)

Chad Hedrick To Appear on Tonight Show - U.S. speed skater Chad Hedrick will be a guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Monday. "It's very exciting," said his agent, Ti Kilink of Clipse Management. "Chad's one of only a couple athletes who will be appearing on the show before the Olypmics. It's a real honor." Hedrick will be sharing the dias with actors Johnny Knoxville and Natasha Leggero and singer Chris Isaak. (Read more about Skaters in the News.) (Jan. 5, 2006)

Hedrick Sets Sights on Heiden's Olympic Mark - Speed skater Eric Heiden's record of five gold medals in one Olympic Games is often considered unassailable. But former inline champion Chad Hedrick isn't so sure. "With a lot of great skating, continuing to work hard and having a little luck on my side, it could happen," he said after last weekend's U.S. championships. Hedrick qualified for all four long track events and is also expected to be selected for the team pursuit. (Go to story at Yahoo! News) (Jan. 2, 2006)

(Go to more ice skating news)

Related reading

• Go to Planet Olympic Inclusion department

• Go to the Planet's Olympic Viewing Guide.

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Copyright 2005 by Robert Burnson

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