Planet Interview with Julie Glass:
Future Plans Include More Inline Racing, Developing New Talent and Working With Powerslide
Julie Glass has had one of the most spectacular careers of any woman to ever lace up inline speed skates. The Jenison, Mich., native won her first (of about 20) world titles when she was 16; she is a perennial favorite in any World Cup marathon she enters; and last summer, she collected five medals at the Inline World Championships in Italy and skated away with the overall title.
But like many top inline racers, she heard the siren song of the Olympics and, in 2002, started training as an ice speed skater.
She easily won a spot on the U.S. Speedskating team. But her winning ways did not follow her onto the ice. And a few weeks ago, reports began appearing that she was giving it up.
And the reports are true. As Julie says in this Planet Interview, she has given up ice skating and will devote herself to inline racing and Powerslide USA, the speed skate company that her husband, Doug Glass, founded. Here's what she says she learned on the ice: "If you're not passionate and having fun chasing your goals and dreams, you won't succeed!"
Here's the interview, which was conducted via email. ... And thanks, Julie. It's great to have you back full-time!
Robert: Is it true that you have decided to retire from ice speed skating?
Julie: I decided to pursue ice skating after watching the 2002 Olympics. This was a time when my husband, Doug Glass, [president of Powerslide USA] and I had just left Verducci, and I had not been skating for six months. At the time, we were operating a rink and running a drive through coffee shop in Lebanon, Oregon.
I decided to pursue an inline contract to help get back in shape and to prepare myself for my venture on ice. I left Lebanon and headed for Calgary, Canada [home of the Olympic Oval long-track ice speed skating training program].
But to answer your question: Yes, I have decided to stop ice skating, although I had hardly even started!
I spent four months in Calgary in 2002-2003, six months there in '03-'04, and only a short while in August and September of this year before I decided I didn't want to continue.
I did compete in some World Cup [ice skating] events and was on the U.S. National Team (without having much experience on the ice). But I still couldn't get myself excited about the sport and felt it would take a good six years to reach my goals.
And so my love and passion for inline skating took over, not only as an athlete but as an entrepreneur. Powerslide USA [which sponsors her] is growing at an incredible rate and we just expanded our race team with World standouts Joey Mantia and Brittany Bowe. I want to be involved in all aspects of the business, as I was when operating Verducci.
Robert: Was the decision to leave ice skating difficult?
Julie: It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I spent a lot of time debating and ultimately realized what I needed to do. (And I only made the decision when I really felt I wouldn't regret it!)
The hardest part about the whole thing was telling my friends and family. It was hard not to feel like I was letting everyone down. (Which is a horrible feeling to deal with!) Unless they had been in a similar situation themselves, it was hard for them to understand.
Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson