Olympic Trials here I come !

US Speed Skating has published the rules for the upcoming Olympic Trials.  My goal last season was to qualify for the trials.  Each year the rules must change to reflect the current dates and places for each competition.  Additionally, the rules for Olympic trials and team selection must be published every 4 years (see the link below for the document).  The Long Track Trials will be held  December 27th, 2013 through January 1st, 2014, in Salt Lake City.  The Short Track Trials will be January 2nd through 4th 2014, also in Salt Lake.  NBC sports will be airing 17 hours of coverage (some of it will be live) of the long and short track trials.  This will be a great build up to the Olympic games in Sochi during February, 2014

Last season I set out to qualify for 3 distances, 500, 1000, and 1500.  I made the time for the 500 (39.00) in January, in Milwaukee.  I skated faster 2 more times in Salt Lake (38.94 and 38.75).  I needed a 1:16.08 in the 1000.  I skated a 1:16.15, missing the time by .07 or about 1 meter.  The rules allow me to skate both the 500 and the 1000 since I achieved the time in the 500.  I skated my second fastest 1500 ever at 2:01.40 in March but fell short of the required time of 1:57.96.  In retrospect, that goal was not realistic.  The overall goal of making it to the trials was realistic and I achieved it!

Having the rules published is the final validation of my goals.  Now I am set to go and compete.  My goal is to improve on my performance from the last trials 4 years ago.  I know this will be my last Olympic trials.  This is my choice.  At the last trials I was 53 and the oldest ever to qualify for this event.  I have just added 4 years to my record.  I am faster now by far as a master than I was as a teenager on the national team.  I do the work and get the results.  I have enjoyed the journey along the way too, appreciating all the work and benefits that come my way.

I have only 3 days left of simulator training in Denver this week to finish my B-777 type rating school.  This is my 29th year at United Airlines.  This will be my fifth type rating, all in Boeing aircraft.  I started out at a B-727 engineer, yes they had those in the day.  I am proud to be a Captain at United Airlines.  Looks like I will be going to Shanghai next weekend and then to Europe a few days later to finish my line training with a friend of mine that is an instructor Captain.   In July I will start flying out of Washington Dulles to Frankfurt.  Onward to my new assignment.
“Let age enhance your dreams rather than define them.”  Bruce Conner 2008
“Getting better and going faster is more about intentions and choices than age”

Bruce Conner  2012

Photo by Steve Penland

Photo by Steve Penland

Link for USS Document


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