Lutheran South News

Ian Quinn, LS '12 Secures Spot on Team USA Speedskating at Beijing Olympics

( - A Lutheran High School South graduate will compete for Team USA at the upcoming winter Olympics in Beijing. 

Ian Quinn, 28, grew up in St. Louis and became a member of the Gateway Speedskating Club when he was in second grade.

"I was a pretty high energy child, so my parents were kind of like, 'Let's try this out and see if you like it," Quinn said. "I tried it, and I sucked for a long time, but I stuck with it long enough until I got decent at it."
One of his longtime coaches, Russell Owen, remembers Quinn as an 8-year-old on the ice.

"He started just like most kids do that come out, stumbling, falling all over," Owens laughed.

But as he got older, Owens said Quinn's determination quickly stood out amongst his peers.

"What made him stand out was his determination and his ability to listen to us and apply what we were teaching him," he said. "Plus, he was an extraordinary athlete, running cross-country in high school and just being in incredible athletic shape."

As Quinn got older, he said practice and training would consume up to five days a week while he was in high school. During summers, he'd travel around the country to train with different coaches.

"I traveled everywhere," he said. "I wanted to have a normal life, finish high school and so I concentrated a lot of my training in the summers."

After graduating from Lutheran High School South, Quinn said his attention shifted to making the junior world team.

"I moved to Salt Lake City and began training," he said. "In 2013, I made it."

Quinn participated in the 2014 short track speedskating time trials, but did not qualify for the Olympics. That summer, he decided to switch to long track.

"I figured maybe I might like it more," he said. "I had kind of had my fill of short track."

In 2018, Quinn once again took part in the Olympic trials, this time taking part in the mass start event, consisting of 16 laps. Again, he was met with defeat.

"I wasn't really considered a favorite going in, but I thought I had a chance and it was obviously a defeat, but I told myself I'll give myself four more years to go after it," he said.

So, for the last four last years, Quinn has trained nearly seven days a week, five to six hours a day, in one last attempt to make Team USA. That moment, came on January 9, when Quinn won the trials and punched his ticket to Beijing. 

"I think a large part of it is being able to look in the mirror and say, 'No matter what happens, I'm going to do everything in my power and go for it again," he said.

Owens, who has coached speedskating for more than 50 years, is anxiously awaiting his former skater's Olympic debut.

"It's just going to be a thrill to see him on the ice and anything and above that is just icing on the cake as they say," said Owens. 

Speedskating semi-finals and finals are scheduled to take place on Feb. 19.
This article was originally published here.
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