photo: Mark Milford
Winner of the 2008 National Roller Cup - Elite Pro Division
Team: Simmons Racing
Hometown: Independence, MO
Tells us about your skate career?
When I was about 10, a friend of mine started speed skating. So one day I told my mom I wanted to try it. I was on quads for about a week and realized they were not going to cut it. So my mom bought some used inlines for me.
I started skating as a member of the B & D South Skating Center team in Independence. After about three years, I started skating outdoors.
I made the Junior World Team in 1999 when I was 17 and grabbed a couple of medals at the World Championships. I got a gold in the relay, a silver in the track points race and a bronze in the road points race.
But after that, life kind of set in. I was kept busy working and paying bills. I trained a lot with Dave Simmons (owner of Simmons Racing). But it never seemed to be enough.
I made the U.S. marathon team a couple of times. But I could only afford to attend the World Championships once. [Skaters sometimes had to pay their own way in the past.]
In 2002, I went to Europe and skated on the Bont team for six months. I skated in the World Inine Cup and a few races in Holland. I learned a lot, but not enough to get back in the game.
This has been my best year in a long time. I have to give a big thanks to Dave and Jennifer Simmons and the whole Simmons Racing team. They have been with me since Day 1. Without them, I would not be where I am today ... in skating or in life.
What's your day job?
I am a plumber.
How do you train?
Hernan Diaz (Team Simmons) lives on the other side of town so when time allows, we train together. But I do most of my skate-training on my own.
I try to skate as much as possible. Some weeks, I find time to skate four or five times; other weeks, I don't get out at all.
I go to the gym whenever I can, usually early in the morning before the kids wake up or late at night after they go to bed. I am very lucky to have a very understanding wife who supports what I do ... most of the time.
Do you compete in other sports?
I do a little bit of hockey, mixed martial arts training and cycling.
What are your goals for the future?
To be honest, I haven't thought too much about the future. I kind of take it one year at a time.
As for work, I hope before too long to be working for myself. My wife and I are ready to have our third child (a boy), which we are very excited about.
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