Northbrook club’s speed skating alum carries swagger to South Korea

By Chris Kwiecinski Medill Reports MILWAUKEE – He doesn’t make outlandish guarantees, but it’s easy to see that two-time Olympian Mitchell Whitmore isn’t short on confidence.  Asked about his expectations for the 2018 Winter Games, Whitmore, who trained at the Northbrook Speed Skating Club, showcases more bravado than his fellow speed- skating Olympians. “I think […]

Changing lanes: Track athletes switch to bobsled to prolong athletic careers

By Erin Barney Evan Weinstock still laces up spiked shoes, pulls on a spandex suit and high-knees his way through a dynamic warmup before each race—a routine he perfected as a decathlete. But the familiarity ends there. At the conclusion of his senior season at Brown University, Weinstock traded track and field for bobsled. Now, […]

Figure skating dress design with an edge

By Erin Barney Gail Johnson didn’t fit in with the other figure skating moms. She wasn’t wooed by elegant melodies or charmed by gaggles of twirling toddlers. She didn’t love glitter. Sequins weren’t her thing. But in an effort to save a few bucks, Johnson found herself more closely tied to the sport and its […]

It’s all about the story

Q&A with ice dancers Kseniya Ponomaryova and Oleg Altukhov By Erin Barney To casual figure skating fans, ice dancing and pairs routines often appear the same—spins, lifts and dazzling costumes. But ice dancers aren’t allowed to do showy overhead lifts and throw jumps. Instead, they need to wow fans and judges with their storytelling. Without […]

For Olympian Jason Brown, the ice is nice but family comes first

By EmmaKate Austin At the 2014 USA Figure Skating national championships, Jason Brown joyfully Irish-danced his way to a silver medal and a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. He did it his way: He had ignored advice to train away from home. Even after representing the U.S. in Sochi later that year and winning […]

Biathlon: Mastering the heartbeat of skiing and shooting

By Erin Barney Breathe in. Exhale halfway. Hold it. Ignore pulsing temples, burning muscles, and the crack of an adjacent rifle. Focus. Pull the trigger. In a moment requiring absolute stillness, Olympic biathlete Lowell Bailey said it’s rarely quiet enough in his head to achieve the necessary Zen. He has to hit a four-and-a-half-inch target […]

When ice is more than ice

By Erin Barney Bill Wood uses a language only a select few can appreciate. He communicates in numbers, physics, and most importantly, frozen water. Wood, 46, is a member of the research and development group working toward perfecting curling ice. He’s one of just six in the world to have that specific skill set and […]