Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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How many of us watched the 2002 Olympics, and thought to ourselves, wow, what if I could do that? Well, Chad Hedrick not only dreamed, he got to work--And, now the 28 year old is on his way to Torino as one of Team USA's top contenders...
Chad Hedrick has been on skates of some kind since he was four years old. But it wasn't until the 2002 Olympics that something inspired him to try speed skating: Team USA's Derek Parra...took gold.
Chad Hedrick: "WHEN I SAW HIM ON TV DURING THE OLYMPICS I'M THINKING, THAT COULD BE ME."
Parra, was his good friend from in-line skating. In fact, the two had trained together as teenagers. While Derek opted for the ice... Chad went on to be a World Champion In-line skater.
Chad Hedrick: "I KNEW THE SPORTS HAD TO BE RELATED IN SOME WAY."
And so, he came to Salt Lake and started training...his new goal, to go to the Olympics. By 2004 Chad Hedrick not only had broken a speed skating world record at 3000 Meters...he was the all-around World Champion.
Chad Hedrick: "JUST AN AMAZING FEELING FOR ME AND WE'RE GOING TO KEEP GOT FOR SOME MORE.."
Hedrick shattered another world record just last weekend at 5000 meters. He gives much of the credit to his training partner...who like him, still relies on in-line skates for conditioning...and like him, loves to push the speed limit.
Derek Parra: "A COUPLE TIMES WE'LL BE THINKING ABOUT THE OLD DAYS WHEN WE USED TO TRAIN TOGETHER AND SOMETIMES HE'LL SAY LET'S GO A LITTLE BIT HARDER FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES AND I'LL LOOK AT MY WATCH AND SAY LET'S GO."
Chad Hedrick: "IT'S NOT ABOUT COMPETITION FOR US, IT'S ABOUT MAKING EACH OTHER BETTER."
Both will be skating this weekend at the Olympic Oval in Kearns. Competition Friday, Nov. 18 begins at 2pm. Again, it is free to the public. Saturday and Sunday, tickets are 5 dollars...
By the way, Chad is the same one who got his skates stolen out of his car a few months back...he got them back too damaged to use, but he says they're a good luck charm because he broke his first world record in those skates.