Congratulations to all participants. It take a great deal of work to reach this elite level of competition.
Congratulations also to those who have already made the team. The final team selection will be announced at the conclusion of racing on Wednesday, January 1st.
This was my Olympics. My goal was to qualify to be here and race my best. I achieved this goal.
I have qualified at age 19, 49, 53 (oldest ever) and now at 57, adding 4 years.
I am skating faster than ever, and able to maintain a very high level of training and competition for 9 seasons in a row.
Nancy Swider – Peltz, Sr, has been my coach for the last 3 seasons. Nancy is a four-time Olympian, 8 time competitor in the Olympic trials, and former world record holder. She also trains other Olympians.
Nancy Swider_Peltz, Sr. says, “Bruce’s technical skill on the ice are close to perfectly efficient and surpasses all expectations I (or anyone else) would have for a 57-year-old. It is this, and his training discipline, that has brought him to the level of qualifying for the Olympic trials with the young guys in “what the books would say” are distances most difficult as you get older.”
Saturday was the 500 meter race. I get to skate two times, one from each starting lane with about 90 minutes between races. The total time for both races determines the final standings. The first was from the outer lane, good start, building speed in the first turn. Crossover to the inner lane on the backstretch to finish. Tight second turn with this speed. It is exhilarating and scary at 36 miles per hour the on the edge of a 1.1 millimeter blade. Nice finish and a time of 39.29. Seasons best!
Next 500 from the inner lane. Good opening 100 meters again but a slight stumble at 80 meters. Regroup to get nice acceleration in the first turn. Good pressure on my strokes on the backstretch as I switch to the outer lane. Set up the last turn, hit my mark, nice corner staying low to reduce the wind drag. Solid finish to reveal at time of 39.57.
Sunday is the 1000 meter race, my favorite. I have the inner lane to start, also my preference. Really good start, nice acceleration through the first turn. Very fast first lap, as fast as my 500 yesterday, nice. Now, to hang onto my speed. Maintaining technique to keep the momentum. Oxygen debt kicking in, lactic acid building in the legs to make skating
difficult. This is when all the hard work pays off. Digging deep emotionally, summoning the support of all the people who stand with me. Smooth and still powerful strokes all the way to the finish. This is all I have. I stand up to look at the score board that reveals a 1:18.10, seasons best, better than I expected.
Mission accomplished and goals achieved.
Getting better and going faster is more about intention and choice than age.
I am so grateful for all the support, my wife Maripat, father, brothers, children, coach, fellow training group, and masters, just to name a few.
The journey has been the reward along with the tangible results.
Thank you all for your support, I feel it everyday.