Wisconsin’s Own Take the Ice at the 2018 Olympic Speedskating Trials
Through Sunday, the Pettit Ice Center in Milwaukee is hosting the Olympic Long Track Speedskating Trials for the first time since 1998. On Wednesday, I traveled with my family to the Pettit Center to experience the historic event. Featured among the many participants are three home-grown talents: Wauwatosa East graduate Sugar Todd, Marquette University student Emery Lehman and West Allis native Chase Reichmann.
While the trials have typically been held at the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City, the Pettit Center was selected by the U.S. Speedskating Committee for its altitudinal similarities to Gangneung Oval in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the 2018 Winter Games will be hosted. The Pettit Center was opened in January 1993 and has since served as a world-class training facility for top skating athletes throughout the world. In addition to the 1998 Olympic trials, the Pettit has gained recognition for hosting a number of high level national and international speedskating competitions.
The U.S. team has qualified for up to eight spots for male competitors and eight spots for female competitors in long track speedskating. While every date except Sunday has sold out, the trials will continue to be broadcasted on television and streamed online by NBC Sports. The remaining schedule of events can be found below:
- Thursday, January 4: Women 5,000m & Men 10,000m
- 4:45 to 6:30 pm | Live broadcast from 5:00 to 6:30 pm
- Friday, January 5: Men & Women 500m
- 3:20 to 7:00 pm | Live broadcast from 5:30 to 7:00 pm
- Saturday, January 6: Men & Women 1,500m
- 5:05 to 6:50 pm | Live broadcast from 5:00 to 7:00 pm
- Sunday, January 7: Women & Men Mass Start
- 4:55 to 5:30 pm | Live broadcast from 5:00 to 5:30 pm