Wisconsin Makes Up Large Part Of Winter Olympics Long Track Speedskaters Team

Wisconsin and speedskating seem to go hand in hand.

More than a third of the long track Olympics team this year hail from the Dairy State.

And every team member has either lived in the area or trained at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee.

Verona-native Casey FitzRandolph says the Pettit was crucial in preparing for the Winter Olympics next month in Turin, Italy because of the low-altitude similarities.

FitzRandolph -- who is attending his third games -- attributed Wisconsin's tradition to hardworking Midwestern values, the cold weather and the training facilities.

John Findling is a co-editor of the Historical Dictionary of the Modern Olympic Movement. He says Madison-native Eric Heiden's unprecedented five gold medals in the 1980 Olympics helped inspire newcomers.

Other long track team members are: Kip Carpenter from Brookfield, Tucker Fredricks from Janesville, Maria Lamb from River Falls, Elli Ochowicz from Waukesha, Catherine Raney from Elm Grove and Chris Witty from West Allis.

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