CONTRIBUTORS TO THE SPORT
ELECTED TO THE SPEEDSKATING HALL OF FAME
Listed in the order in which they were inducted
James "Bunny" Sheffield
Herbert F. Schwarz
Philip O. Krumm
Elmer J. Greenwood
Dr. Milan V. Novak
Dorothy F. Novak
Alex J. Hamilton
Eugene P. Lynch
Herbert J. Knudten
Richard P. Mccarter
George A. O'connell, Jr.
William L. Markland
Louis Eliasberg, Jr.
Richard J. Somalski
Charles P. Blair, Jr.
Robert R. Vehe
John "Jack" M. Byrne
Patricia A. Peaslee
Donald H. Anderson
William H. Cushman
James T. Chapin, Sr.
Sanders “Sam” Hicks
William (Bill) Anderson
CONTRIBUTORS TO THE SPORT
Click on a linked name below for photos of the person; more photos will be added in the future.
AL FLATH Born 1874. Early promoter, proposed and adapted cycling rules for speed skating mass starts. Official timer for seventy years. Peak 1960. Elected May 14, 1966 at Colorado Springs, Colorado. Submitted by Dr. Milan Novak.
KENNETH HALL Born 1886. Sports Editor. National official for 50 years. Originator of Detroit Gold and Silver Skates Derby. Edited ASU Official Handbook. Elected May 18, 1967 at Detroit, Michigan. Submitted by Roy Helminski.
HARRY NOAH Born 1881. Early promoter, officer, editor, referee and organizer. Improved conduct of meets. Elected May 18, 1967 at Detroit, Michigan. Submitted by C. Robert Muller.
HARRY BERZ Born March 21, 1891. Promoter, organizer and pioneer on standards and procedures for more than 50 years. Introduced use of heat cards. National official. Elected May 24, 1970 at Buffalo, New York. Submitted by Lawrence Ralston and the Amateur Skating Association of Illinois.
JAMES "BUNNY" SHEFFIELD Born November 12, 1909. Organizer, promoter, and official in winter sports since 1930. National official, ASU President, and international board member. Elected May 16, 1971 at Lake Placid, New York. Submitted by Eugene Lynch and Northern New York Skating Association.
HERBERT F. SCHWARZ Born 1898. Promoter and organizer of National Outdoor in St. Paul, Minnesota. National official and officer. Manager 1956 Olympic team. Elected May 14, 1972 at Colorado Springs, Colorado. Submitted by Clarice Mattson and Eastern Minnesota Skating Association.
PHILIP O. KRUMM Born October 9, 1906. Established major effort for recognition of achievements in Olympic style skating in the United States. Accomplished financing and construction of first 400 meter artificial ice Olympic track in the United States. Organizer and President of United States International Skating Association. Promoted establishment of World Sprint Championships. President of U.S. Olympic Committee. Elected May 12, 1973 at Rosemont, Illinois. Submitted by Wisconsin Skating Association.
BENJAMIN BAGDADE Born January 13, 1904. Organizer and promoter throughout Michigan and the Detroit area for 50 years. President of ASU, Manager of U.S. Olympic teams. Referee, track steward, Olympic games. Elected May 20, 1978 at Oak Brook, Illinois. Submitted by Cass Curran and the Michigan Association.
ELMER J. GREENWOOD Born June 4, 1899. Died December 27, 1990. Served as President and team manager of Saratoga Winter Club. A founder, Chief Judge and President of the Northern New York Skating Association. National Referee. A collector of antique wooden-base skates since 1945. Elected May 19, 1979 at Saratoga Springs, New York. Submitted by Pat Peaslee and the Northern New York Skating Association.
DR. MILAN V. NOVAK Born December 24, 1907. Died January 5, 1992. National Timer, ASU Board of Control member, Illinois. Editor and Co-Editor, ASU Handbook. Co-Author, "Speedskating, What You May Want to Know" (1959). Founder and Co-Editor with wife Dorothy, "Racing Blade." Chairman ASU Hall of Fame committee. ASU Parliamentarian. Five time recipient of ASU Certificate of Appreciation. ASU award for outstanding service and dedication as co-editor of "Racing Blade." Elected May 19, 1979 at Saratoga Springs, New York. Submitted by Lawrence Ralston.
DOROTHY F. NOVAK Born April 8, 1910. Died August 9, 1997. Co-Founder and Co-Editor, "Racing Blade". Co-Founder with husband, Dr. Milan Novak, of Novak Trust Fund for novice promotion. Elected on May 19, 1979 at Saratoga Springs, New York. Submitted by Lawrence Ralston.
ALEX J. HAMILTON Born May 3, 1903. Died May 1994. Charter member and coach of USISA. National referee. Founder, officer and coach of several new skating clubs. Coached 13 skaters to National Championships. Influential in construction of two skating rinks in the Cleveland area. Board member of USISA. Elected May 17, 1980 at Bloomington, Minnesota. Submitted by Andrew F. Corcoran and the Ohio Skating Association.
HERBERT J. KNUDTEN Born October 12, 1905. Died April 19, 1995. Peak 1932-1976. Skater, National Outdoor official. President of the Western, Illinois, and Iowa Associations and the ASU. Charter member of USISA and delegate to the USOC. Elected May 15, 1982 at Bloomington, Minnesota. Submitted by Roger Greenland and the Iowa Skating Association.
ROY HELMINSKI Born April 29, 1918. Died July 21, 2002. Competitive skater from 1930-1948. Organizer and promoter of speed skating throughout Michigan and the Detroit area for 40 years. ASU Chief Clerk of Course and Chief Referee. ASU Board of Control member for Michigan from 1966-1973. 1st Vice President of ASU 1977; President of ASU 1978-80; 3rd Vice President 1980-1983. Founded the National Medallion Program fund in 1981. Elected May 14, 1983 at St. Louis, Missouri. Submitted by William J. Eyre and the Michigan Skating Association.
HOWARD GUTGESELL Born March 28, 1912. Died April 14, 2000. Past President of the Wisconsin Skating Association; National ASU Chief Clerk of Course; Chief Timer; Treasurer of USISA; early member of the Hall of Fame Committee and Chairman 1981-1983. Elected May 14, 1983 at St. Louis, Missouri. Submitted by Robert R. Vehe and the Hall of Fame Committee.
LAWRENCE R. RALSTON Born December 3, 1930. Founded and directed the Stehman Speed Skating Club of Chicago (1957). National Starter; Secretary-Treasurer of the Amateur Skating Association of Illinois; Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the ASU (1971-1984); Board of Directors of USISA. Instrumental in negotiating the "Articles of Alliance" between CASSA and ASU, and in creating the position of "Commissioner of Officials." In 1975 designed with Leon Wilmot, the National and North American Championships' Medallions. Elected May 19, 1984 at Northbrook, Illinois. Submitted by Ted and Kay Klaiber and the Amateur Skating Association of Illinois.
DAVID F. ROCHE Born March 23, 1913. Died November 14, 1996. Coach, official, fund-raiser, and for 20 years an attendant at the ASU Convention. Board of Control member for Middle Atlantic Association (14 years); National and International Chief Starter; first Commissioner of Officials for ASU; Co-chaired first Officials' Seminar in Chicago and Albany; Head of Doping Control at 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid. Vice President of the ASU (1976-1981); President of the ASU (1982-1984). Elected May 19, 1985 at Albany, New York. Submitted by Roy Helminski, Patricia A. Peaslee and Northern New York Skating Association.
LEON WILMOT Born March 7, 1914. Died November 22, 2005. Promoter and organizer of speed skating for over 25 years. In 1975, with Lawrence Ralston, designed the National and North American Medallions. Original member of USISA; ASU Vice-President 1968-1974; ASU President 1974-1976. Helped arouse initial interest in "Short Track" speed skating. Instrumental in organizing the first World Short Track Championships in 1976 at Champaign, Illinois. Elected May 17, 1986 at Cleveland, Ohio. Submitted by Lawrence Ralston.
GEORGE HOWIE Born December 28, 1918. Died September 11, 1997. Active in the promotion of speed skating starting in 1954 with the Oconomowoc Speedskating Club. President of the Wisconsin Skating Association 1965-67. Founding member of USISA and Director of Public Relations 1965-72. President of USISA 1972-84. Involved in obtaining approval for first refrigerated 400 meter track in Milwaukee. Elected May 15, 1987 at Southgate, Michigan. Submitted by Lorraine Garbe and Howard Gutgesell.
GEORGE A. O'CONNELL, JR. Born August 29, 1914. Died July 27, 1987. Founding member of the Champaign-Urbana Speedskating Club. Active official as a referee or starter for the Amateur Skating Association of Illinois from 1937 to 1966. Member of the USISA Board of Directors from 1966 until his death. Officiated at eight Olympic Games and World Championships. Elected May 13, 1988 at Arden Hills, Minnesota. Submitted by Lorraine Garbe.
LOUIS ELIASBERG, JR. Born April 27, 1929. An original organizer of the Maryland Speedskating Association and its Board of Control member for over twenty years. Developed an electronic timing system and provided it at all National and most North American meets in the United States for 18 years. Timed all USISA metric competitions for the same period. A pioneer in promoting safety apparel. Original trustee and manager of the ASU Medallion Fund. Elected May 19, 1990 at Colorado Springs, Colorado. Submitted by Robert R. Vehe.
RICHARD J. SOMALSKI Born September 19, 1926. Founded the Bay County Speedskating Club in Michigan in 1946. Actively coached and traveled with skaters throughout the state. Married Marylin McDermott in 1951 and remembers putting the first pair of skates on 7 year old Terry McDermott. Coached Terry until 1960 when he made his first Olympic team. President of the Michigan Skating Association in 1964. Member of the USISA Board from 1968 to 1992 and was treasurer from 1984 to 1992. Elected on May 18, 1991, at Southgate, Michigan. Submitted by Bay County Speedskating Club.
TED YOUNG Born April 12, 1909. Died January 1, 1987. Served three terms as President of the ASU between 1939 and 1945. President of the Missouri Skating Association from 1934 to 1940. Served as a National Starter from 1938 into the mid 1960s. Instrumental along with Jim Hawkins and Lamar Ottsen in the building of the Steinberg Memorial Skating Rink in Forest Park in St. Louis, that opened in October 1957. Elected on May 16, 1992, at St. Louis, Missouri. Submitted by Lee and Budd Doyle.
ROBERT R. VEHE Born December 21, 1922. Died July 9, 1998. Began involvement in organized speed skating in 1964 when his two sons joined the Mt. Prospect Skating Club in Illinois. He served in all of the club offices numerous times and in many of the Amateur Skating Association of Illinois positions. He represented the ASAI as the Board of Control member for 12 years. He became a National Official in 1972 as a judge and announcer. Starting as Co-Chairman of the ASU Handbook Committee in 1979-1981, he became the editor of the Handbook and editor of The Racing Blade in 1987. In 1992, he converted The Racing Blade into a magazine format. It had started as a four page newsletter 25 years earlier. He was Facilities Director of The ASU Speedskating Hall of Fame at the time of his death. Elected May 14, 1994 at Schaumburg, Illinois. Submitted by Lawrence Ralston.
PATRICIA A. PEASLEE Born June 17, 1935. Became involved in speed skating in 1957 at the Pittsfield Winter Carnival. Organizer and chairman of many meets and a member of the Pittsfield Parks Speed Skating Club since 1961. Pat was president of the Northern New York Association in 1984 and was secretary for numerous years. Attended her first ASU convention in 1970 and since 1977 has attended every one. Pat has been a national official since 1970 and served as Board of Control and has been chairman and member of various committees. She served two years as Chairman of the Hall of Fame committee. Elected May 21, 1995 at Danvers, Massachusetts.
WILLIAM H. CUSHMAN Born August 6, 1934. Passed away October 4, 2011. Got on his first pair of skates at age 3 and got plenty of encouragement from his family. He was one of the original skaters when the Midway Club was founded in 1946. He competed until 1960 and is still a member of the club. Has been active in the Eastern Minnesota Skating Association and its successor. In 1972, he joined USISA and served as secretary from 1976 until 1984, when he was made Executive Director. Bill was Manager of the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Teams in 1980 and 1984. Elected May 19, 1996 at Bloomington, Minnesota. Skating Photos: 1953 Indoor | 1953 on Lake Como
JAMES T. CHAPIN, SR. Born September 21, 1932. Began skating as a Junior Boy in 1947. 19 years as an active competitor. Coach and officer in the Missouri Skating Association. National and international referee. Commissioner of Officials, Vice President, and President of the ASU. Developed the current Protocol. Technical Director at 2 World Short Track Championships. Elected May 18, 1997 at St. Louis, Missouri.
CLARICE MATTSON Born February 10, 1912. Died December 28, 1996. As a Recreation Director at one of the St. Paul Recreation Centers she developed a novice speed skating program which became a source of recruitment for the local clubs. Served as Secretary of the Eastern Minnesota Skating Association for 18 years and was a delegate to the ASU Convention during this time. Charter member of the ASU Hall of Fame Committee and served for 22 years. National official and a timer at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. Elected May 18, 1997 at St. Louis, Missouri.
PAUL MUELLER Born May 3, 1926. Passed away December 11, 2011. Became active in speed skating in 1962. Active as a fund raiser and coach. Started the careers of 8 Olympic team members. ASU Referee since 1976. International referee and starter. Officiated at numerous World Championships, World University Games, World Cup events, and other International Championships. Developed procedures for U. S. Short Track team selection. Elected May 17, 1998 at Wausau, Wisconsin. Submitted by Dr. Gerry Steele and the Wisconsin Skating Association.
SANDERS “SAM” HICKS Born March 3, 1927. Coach, fund raiser, meet director, and promoter. National Starter since 1974. International Starter. Chief Starter at World competitions in 1985, 1988, and 1990. Conducted ISU Starters Clinics. Promoted the requirement of appropriate medical procedures at national championships. Elected May 23, 1999 at Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Submitted by Robert R. Vehe.
J. FRED GOHL Born June 12, 1903. Died May 24, 1978. Teacher and Recreation Director. Started 3 clubs. He was able to turn around the lives of several that were heading down the wrong path. Instituted the first skate exchange which was copied by other clubs throughout the country. Hall of Fame members Mary Novak Sand, Jim Campbell, Dr. and Mrs. Milan Novak, Ed Schroeder, Phil Krumm, and Larry Ralston are all products of his teaching and encouragement. Elected May 21, 2000 at Irvine, California. Submitted by Richard Widmark
MILLARD D. “DOC” SAVAGE Born January 11, 1928. Tireless recruiter. Developed speed skating educational material. Worked in the Coaching Education Program. Recipient of ASU publicity awards 1977, 1979. Chairman of ASU Growth and Development and Novice Program Committee. Since 1987 he has made “Pioneering Trips” to a number of new areas to help setup programs for skaters and club organizers. Elected May 21, 2000 at Irvine, California. Submitted by Central Wisconsin Speed Skating Club.
DONALD KANGAS: He has been active on the National scene since 1979, as a dedicated servant of the sport. Don was President and Coach of the Midland Speedskating Club, 1979-1997, Chairman of the ASU Coaching Committee, 1990-1996, Delegate and Board of Control Member from Michigan, 1985-present, and Editor of the Racing Blade, 1998-2000. He developed much of the Educational material used in ASU Coaching seminars. Wherever there was a need or void in a vital National program, Don volunteered to fill the gap. What he didn't know about a topic, he asked questions and attended related seminars and coaching courses, to get the right answers. Don has been active in the Boy Scouts of America and an outstanding contributor for 21 years. Don is a retired Chemist for Dow Chemical Co. residing in Midland, MI. Elected May 19, 2001, at Albany, New York. Submitted by Hall of Fame Committee & Michael Kangas
PATRICK MAXWELL: North American Short Track Champion, 1971, National Short Track co-champion, 1983. He placed 5th overall at the 1st World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in 1976. Far surpassing his record as a competitor, is his enviable record as a Coach of Short Track skaters. Pat has coached the Saratoga Winter Club since 1976 and is noted for his innovative approach to teaching and development. He was active as National Team Coach 1983-1998 and has conducted developmental camps and over 100 training seminars since his retirement from competition. He has produced a video on Short Track training and technique. Pat was coach of 1992 Olympic Short Track Team. Elected May 19, 2001, at Albany, New York. Submitted by Hall of Fame Committee and Northern New York Skating Assn.
EDWARD RUDOLPH, SR.: A former speed skater in the Chicagoland area in the 1930's, that realized the value of the sport as a vital link in human development. He founded the Northbrook Skating Club in 1953, and was a pioneer in Coaching development and Training methods for Metric Style skating. World and Olympic Team Coach, 1961-1962-1972. Ed traveled to World Championships in Europe and Asia, at his own expense, (prior to formation of the United States International Skating Association), when there were no funds available to send competitors to World championship events. As a Commissioner of the Northbrook Park District he was directly responsible for development of Meadowhill Park, a skating and cycling facility that developed numerous World and Olympic Team Members. (later renamed the "Ed Rudolph Meadowhill Park") Ed retired in 1975 and passed away December 24, 2001, at the age of 92, just weeks after Lauretta Rudolph, his wife of 67 years, passed away Elected May 19, 2001, at Albany, New York. Submitted by Richard Widmark & Northbrook Skating Club.
JERRY SEARCH: He was a prolific writer for the Racing Blade for 16 years, a contributor of photo layouts and video recordings on skating technique and training methods and has worked as Assistant Coach and chaperone at Training Camps and seminars since 1984. Jerry has been the Board of Control member for Southern California and a member of various ASU Committee's. He was a prime contributor to the ASU Handbook with material on Eligibility, and Code of Conduct for athletes. He has developed the ASU website into an excellent communications tool and continues to make it even better. Jerry has been active as an Officer and Coach of Ice Club DeMorra. Jerry is a retired Firefighter (City of Long Beach, CA). Elected May 19, 2001, at Albany, New York. Submitted by Hall of Fame Committee and Shirley Yates.
LORRAINE GARBE: Lorraine began doing volunteer work at the local level for the West Allis Skate Club in 1962 and has not looked back. Her activities included providing support for the athletes (hotel reservations, chaperone), administration ( assembling rosters, dues collection) and media contact. Soon she began working at the National level with pair drawing, skater check-in, pre- and post-event publicity. She volunteered at all Long Track Team selection trials from 1968 to 2000 held in West Allis. Lorraine was also the media contact person for National competitions hosted in West Allis. She worked at skater check-in, starting line assistant, and media contact for international competitions at West Allis between 1970 and 2000. Appointed a National Judge in 1980, she continued to judge at pack style meets for many years. Lorraine served for ten years as a member of the Speedskating Hall of Fame Committee and as a delegate at ASU and USISA (now U.S. Speedskating) conventions between 1972 and the present. She held numerous Club and National awards as well as community awards for her volunteer services. Lorraine passed away January 13, 2006. Elected in Anaheim, April, 2004. Additional image: With Tony Arena and Dave Roche)
DENNIS MARQUARD: Denny was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the fourth of six children. He became involved in the sport of speed skating following in the footsteps of his older brother Jim, who was his coach in the early years. Denny started competing at the age of 13 for the Lakewood Speedskating Club of Lakewood, Ohio. His skating career peaked in 1972 when Denny earned a spot on the National Team and competed in the World University Games. Denny has contributed to the sport at the National level in many ways. He was the Chairman of the ASU Nominating Committee (1990-2000) and a Member of the Speedskating Hall of Fame Committee(1990-2000), including 5 years as Committee Chairman. Between 1976 and 2003 he served on 10 meet organizing committees including National Short Track Championships (2), North American Short Track Championships (1), World Team Trials (1), U.S. Junior Short Track Championships (1), and Short Track American Cup (5). He has also served as an Olympic Festival coach (1991, 1993) and a Coach/Chaperone for ASU Summer Camps. He also assisted with layout and printing of ASU Catalogue and contributed articles to the Racing Blade for many years. Elected April 24, 2004, at Saratoga Springs, New York
RUTH MOORE: Ruth Moore Ruth Santos began speed skating at the Boston Silver Skates meet. Her first attempts were in figure skates and she did well enough to make a few finals. Her dad decided that perhaps she had a future in the sport and bought her first long blades; they were long out door skates. From this modest beginning, Ruth went on to capture the North American Outdoor Championship in 1971 and the National Outdoor Championship in 1972, both in the Senior Class. Ruth married Chuck Moore following her junior year at Boston University. Beginning in 1969, Ruth and Chuck Moore guided the faltering Northeastern Skating Association back to viability within the ASU. Over the years, the program had sessions in 10 to 15 rinks. New speed skaters continued to enter the sport. Ruth served as chief coach for all of this activity. After years of coaching, Ruth graduated to officiating and became a National level referee. She served as Chief at several Nationals and North American Championships. At the national level, Ruth has served on several committees and chaired the North American Committee. Working with ASU President Bill Anderson and Canadian Amateur Speed Skating Association (CASSA) representative Joyce Leggatt, they brought the North American Championship competition from near oblivion and restored it to the premier meet it was intended to be. Elected April 24, 2004, at Saratoga Springs, New York
THOMAS PORTER: Tom’s wife, Betsy reports that “The truth be known, that although Tom Porter has been involved in speed skating for 27 years, there are still two things he cannot do, skate or sharpen skates”. Tom’s involvement in speed skating began when the family was looking for an activity to occupy their two oldest children during the winter months in Saratoga Springs, New York. All five of the Porter children participated in speed skating, three of them progressing to compete nationally, while Todd and Erin went on to compete internationally where Erin continues to be active. As the Porter children became more involved in the sport, so too did Tom. In 1980 Tom started to attend Northern New York Skating Association (NNYSA) meetings, becoming Finance Chairman in 1984, Vice President in 1984, and President in 1986. During this period Tom also became active in the Amateur Skating Union (ASU). By 1989 he was on the ASU Safety and Legislative Committees. He served as Vice President of Racing (1992-1994), Vice President of Operations (1994-1996) and was elected President in 1996. During his term as President, Tom initiated discussions with USISA that ultimately led to the merger of the two organizations. In 2001, with the aid of several prominent local leaders, Tom was able to establish Saratoga Springs as the permanent home for the Speedskating Museum and Hall of Fame. Elected April 23, 2005
JIM HAWKINS: Jim Hawkins began his career with ice sports when his parents gave him a pair of over sized skates to skate on a nearby pond in a St. Louis city park when he was 11 years old. His competitive nature drew him to speedskating and he competed from 1945 – 1954. After his competitive years, Jim served for over 20 years on the Board of the Missouri Skating Association, which saw growth and a focus on development during his tenure as President from 1966 – 1969. As a founder of the U.S. International Speed Skating Association (USISA – now U.S. Speedskating), Jim served as General Secretary and Treasurer from 1966-1976. He acted as the Manager of the U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team for the Sapporo Olympics in 1972, track announcer for speedskating in the 1960 and 1980 Olympics, was an ISU referee, and has been a delegate to several ISU Congresses. He currently serves as ISU Legal Advisor. Jim’s involvement, contributions and dedication to the sport have helped speedskating in the U.S. achieve the international success that it has experienced over the past six decades. Jim stated as a young competitor and his love and dedication to the sport has continued over the years. He derives great personal satisfaction from seeing that young athletes have the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities to the fullest. Elected April 22, 2006 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
GRETA HALL She is a past president of the Amateur Speedskating Union (ASU), the predecessor to US Speedskating. She was also a long-time assistant coach with the Glen Ellyn Speed Skating Club. She particularly relished working with the tiny tot and pee wee novice skaters as well as one on one with novices of all ages, usually in their very first sessions on speed skates, and showed remarkable ability to help them grasp the basics quickly. Greta was the first and only woman to be President of the ASU. As of her induction, Greta is the only woman referee on the 25 person roster of the International Skating Union (ISU) Championships list for short track speed skating. Greta was a referee at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, and has refereed numerous ISU World Championships and World Cups from Asia to North America to Europe in addition to many US domestic championships. She also officiated regional and local meets, including the 88th Annual Chicago Silver Skates. Greta has consistently demonstrated over several decades a love for, and, commitment to the sport of speed skating, as well as a strong example of leadership, integrity, and volunteerism with her tell-it-like-it-is, no-nonsense, direct style. Elected April 21, 2007 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
JERRY STEELE Speed skating runs in the Steele family. Jerry started skating when he was 9 years old and continued until he was 24. His father and four uncles were all speed skaters and officials. Jerry raced in local, state and national meets from 1941 to 1955 and qualified to skate in the 1951 and 1955 Olympic Trials. Following his skating career, Jerry started coaching - a contribution he's made to the sport for 29 years. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, Jerry began serving as meet director for many local, state and national championships. He became a national Chief Judge in 1984 and was a Chief Referee at the Pre-World Special Olympics in Anchorage, Alaska in 2000. At the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Jerry was a corner judge. He has also served as Assistant Chief Referee at two World Cup events. Jerry served as the president of the Wisconsin Speed Skating Association, participated as a member of the Pettit Center Advisory Board and ran the Learn to Speed Skate program at the Pettit National Ice Center for five years. He continues to volunteer as a Learn to Speed Skate instructor and is a member of the Friends of the Pettit Center Board of Directors. He has served on the George Howie Memorial Award Committee as chair, the USS Sports Medicine committee, the USS Long Track Committee and for the past 10 years on the Speed Skating Hall of Fame Committee, serving as chair for two of those years. At the time of his induction to the Hall of Fame, Jerry had been an optometrist for 44 years. Speaking about his main speed skating goals, Jerry said, "I want to benefit speed skating from grass roots, to world championships to the Olympic Games." Elected April 21, 2007 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
On one of the few instances National Speed Skating Hall of Fame inductee Fred
Benjamin actually walked on the ice, he fell, cut his head open and had to
be rushed to a medical facility for stitches. Although he’s not a skater
by any means, Fred’s contributions to the sport of speedskating are invaluable
and have changed the sport for the better. As the parent of a
speedskater, Fred was dedicated to helping his children succeed. When his
son, Jeff, got interested in speedskating, Fred helped organize the Highland
Park Speedskating Club which operated for two years before many of its members
joined the Northbrook Speedskating Club. He also got roped into officiating
during a 6 a.m. Sunday practice. “I didn’t really want to get
up that early but I did go that day,” Fred says. “After that, I kept being
asked to act as a Starter in local meets around the Midwest. I just kind
of went around the circuit giving the warning, ‘I don’t really know what
I’m doing but I will help if you need it.’”
Surprisingly to Fred, he was asked to officiate at the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia. While there, he caught the notice of Ottavio Cinquanta, a representative of the ISU and current ISU president. Cinquanta put Fred on the list of ISU approved officials; now Fred travels the world officiating at ISU level short track speedskating events.
After raising $15,000 for the Northbrook Speedskating Club, Fred was elected to serve as the president of the Amateur Speedskating Association of Illinois where he witnessed what he believed to be unfair practices in the national speedskating governing body, USISA. He campaigned to get the open meetings act enforced for board meetings and held USISA accountable for decisions made that didn’t adhere to USISA rules. Fred was instrumental in creating the merger between USISA and the ASU, resulting in the formation of US Speedskating in 2002.
Fred served as president of US Speedskating from 2002 until 2004. During that time his efforts focused on the goal of merging two different organizations into one coherent, effective national governing body. That goal was realized with the formation of a single national federation, US Speedskating.
“We needed to harness all the assets and expenses to have an influx of money in order to handle the development process,” he says. “We needed to create a cohesive organization. I’ve enjoyed trying to make this sport more positive and trying to make it fair.”
While still working as an active ISU official, Fred serves as a member of the ISU Disciplinary Committee, holds USS officials’ clinics around the country and serves as a board member for US Speedskating. As a lawyer practicing with the firm Benjamin & Shapiro in Chicago since 1969, Fred uses he legal knowledge to ensure athletes are treated fairly and, as part of that process, helped draft the arbitration process for US Speedskating.
Fred was born on March 15, 1940 and currently lives in Highland Park, Illinois with his wife, Dottie, of 20 years. He has three children, including his son Corey, who also practices law at Benjamin & Shapiro; his daughter Julie, a California attorney; and Jeff, an accomplished speedskater living in Vancouver. Fred also has seven grandchildren. If he ever has spare time, Fred will squeeze in a game of tennis with friends.
On being inducted into the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame, Fred said he was absolutely surprised and honored. “I was actually flabbergasted,” he says. “I’ve seen other people inducted, but never thought I was at that level.” Inducted at Bethlehem, PA, on April 19, 2008.
JACK MORTELL: Although
Jack Mortell stopped skating competitively in 1986, he feels that’s the exact
time his speedskating career got started. His accomplishments during the last
22 years have helped bring the sport of short track speedskating to the Olympic
podium. But more than that, Jack’s programs have strengthened the athletes’
sense of community. Raised in Evanston, IL, Jack spent his winters
skating on frozen ponds, flooded parks or at the ice rink located near his
home. One day, while skating in a pair of hand-me-down white figure skates,
he was given the chance to use speedskates. His life was never the same.
“I took to them immediately,” Jack says. “The second I put them on they felt
like part of me. Sadly, there’s probably loads of terrific speedskaters out
there but they probably aren’t exposed to it, so they never know. I just
was lucky.” Jack went on to compete, and win, in city-wide speedskating
contests until he was invited to join the Pierce Speedskating Club in Chicago.
In age class meets he competed with future Olympic medalists Dan Immerfall
and Peter Mueller before stetting his own mark on the speedskating world.
Jack was named to five World Short Track teams between 1976 and 1983, all
the while holding down a full-time job as a fire fighter and paying a mortgage.
Winning two National Short Track and one North American Long Track title in mass start speedskating, Jack set seven national records ranging from 400 to 5000 meters. As the 1992 Olympic Head Coach for Short Track, he watched one of his athletes, Cathy Turner, skate into history as she became the first woman in the world to win a Short Track Olympic Gold Medal in 1992. The ladies then went on to win a surprising silver medal for the relay: US Speedskating’s first team medal.
But it’s his dedication to service that sets Jack apart. As a world-class athlete and coach, Jack felt it was his duty to give back to the sport of speedskating. He understood how his success could pave the way for a greater level of service for US Speedskating. “The days that I remember most are when I was doing community service with our athletes and speedskating family,” Jack says.
Before the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Jack organized the US Speedskating’s Gold Council. The council consisted of US Speedskating gold medalists from past Olympic Games who were willing to come to Salt Lake City and serve the community. They spent time at the food bank, helped do yard clean-up projects, painted homes, visited hospitals, did landscaping and much more. By February 2002, the Gold Council, current Olympic athletes and the US Speedskating family had completed 2002 hours of service. “The press loved [US Speedskating],” he says. “We always looked good and we ended up getting a lot of sponsorships. We demonstrated we were more than just a sport.” Jack served as the Short Track team leader for the 1994 and 2002 Olympic Games, worked as an ISU Competitors Steward, served as a technical advisor/director for numerous events and continually thinks up ways to improve the sport of speedskating. In 2001, Jack received an International Olympic Committee Diploma from IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, recognizing Jack “for a remarkable contribution, as a Volunteer, to the development of sport and Olympism.”
Born on January 26, 1954, Jack is married to his wife Suzie, of 28 years. He is the father of 3 and retired as a captain of the Evanston Fire Department in 2004. He currently serves as the vice-president of US Speedskating, still looking for ways to create a greater sense of community. Even with all the time he spends with US Speedskating, Jack still manages to volunteer with the Boy Scouts and organize the Evanston Fourth of July Association sporting events each year. “I’m proudest that I didn’t stay away from the sport,” Jack says. “I’m still around helping the sport to evolve. I’m proudest of what I accomplished after I stopped competing.” Inducted at Bethlehem, PA, on April 19, 2008.
JOAN PETERSON For Joan Peterson, skating is a family affair. Joan, with her four brothers and sisters, could often be found at local rinks in Minneapolis, Minnesota, skating, competing and socializing. She competed until she was 18, winning the Silver Skates competition and joining the Loring Speedskating Club. It was at one of those rinks where Joan met her future husband, Howard. They were married for 35 years before he passed away, and during that time Joan started a legacy of speedskating with her own two daughters, Lynn and five-time Olympian Amy.
Soon after her daughters started speedskating, Joan received a phone call from the local club. “Someone called me and said, ‘Bring your skates. We need help.’ I’ve been (refereeing) ever since.”
Joan has officiated at short and long track events since 1976, working her way to Chief Referee at many national, North American and marathon championships. Eventually, Joan advanced to a Level 4 ISU Referee for long track events. She spent many hours on the track officiating and was the first referee at the national marathon.
Besides her years of refereeing, Joan served on numerous boards, committees and organizations including the president and board member of the East Side Speedskating Club, a board member of the Midway Speedskating Club and the Greater Minnesota Speedskating Association. She has worked on the US Speedskating Hall of Fame committee, the Member and Program Development committee, and the competition, officials and George Howie committees. “Speedskating is a great sport,” she said. “You learn a lot of discipline and conditioning. I’ve met so many wonderful people.”
Joan volunteered at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games and was able to watch her daughter Amy compete in the short track competition.“Amy was chosen to carry the flag during the opening ceremonies,” Joan said. “That was really exciting.” Born on April 23, 1935, Joan dedicated more than 60 years of her life to speedskating, whether it was competing in events as a teenager, officiating at local or national meets as an adult or serving on various committees and boards. Additionally, she spent 34 years teaching elementary school in Minnesota, influencing an entire generation of children. Inducted on April 18, 2009, at St. Louis. MORE...
A group of speedskaters at the Olympic Rink in West Allis sped past 9-year-old
Brad Goskowicz, causing his father, Tony, to decide speedskating was the sport
for his son. Hockey skates were returned and soon Brad was doing deep knee
bends with the West Allis Speedskating Club. Ten years later, Goskowicz
had competed in more than 100 competitions, winning at both the National
and North American level. “I loved to race on ice, win or lose and
it was a great time in the sport with many clubs, competitions and competitors.”
With the arrival of children, Tony, Julie and Caitlin, Brad became more involved in the sport. As president of the West Allis club, he was known for innovation. “With the Great Lakes LT and ST Championships as a platform, we were able to try a lot of new things. . .Many of those innovations and improvements are standard today.”
Brad served as President of the Wisconsin Skating Association and the Board of the Amateur Skating Union, as well as Chairman of the Racing Committee, where he championed the standardization to ISU racing rules.
He organized more than 50 competitions including Nationals, North Americans and US Championships, both LT and ST. He ran the first four U.S. JR Short Track Championships, the first ST American Cup and the first events at the Pettit National Ice Center. Brad worked more than 100 competitions as a Competitor’s Steward, rising onto the ISU World Championship list in 2000.
Brad watched his children win national titles, skate on world teams and participate in three different Olympic Games. He credits his wife Peggy for much of his success. “I have always gotten more than my share of the limelight, but Peg is truly ‘the Olympic Mom’. Most people don’t realize how much she has contributed behind the scenes to this sport.”
Serving on the USS Board of Directors since 1991, Goskowicz became President in 2006. Since then, he’s been instrumental in modernizing the USS bylaws, relocating the USS National Headquarters, restructuring development and providing leadership to ensure financial stability at a difficult time for USS. Born on March 13, 1956, Brad currently resides in Ham Lake, MN, with his wife. Inducted on April 18, 2009, at St. Louis.
DUANE RILEY Growing
up in Madison, WI, Duane Riley was never far from an ice rink. In 1946, at
the age of eight, Duane first tried speedskating at a neighborhood rink .
“I always enjoyed competition and it
was a series of races organized by the city — east side vs. west side — that drew me to the sport.” Speedskating soon became a family affair as Duane’s parents, eager to support their son’s new sport, restarted the Madison Speed Skating Club. “Thanks to my parent’s involvement, I was able to train and skate with some of speedskating’s greats including Bill Carow and members of the 1956 and 1960 Olympic team.” Duane went on to win numerous medals competing on the Amateur Speedskating Union (ASU) circuit, including U.S. Nationals and the North American Championships. Following his successful skating career, Duane married Elayne in 1959 and
had three children. When his children began skating in 1965, Duane returned to the ice, however this time as an official. Quickly rising in the officiating ranks, Duane became a National Assistant Referee in 1973,
then a National Referee in 1980. Soon, he became an International Speedskating Union (ISU) Championship Referee working numerous World Cup and World Championship events, and officiated at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano.
In addition to his officiating role, Duane worked as a firefighter and emergency medical technician with the Madison Fire Department for 23 years, and spent an additional 15 years as an armed guard for Brinks Armored Cars. A committed volunteer, Duane became a member of the Madison Speed Skating Club in 1964, serving as its president, and is still active with the club today. He was vice president of the ASU for six years, serving as the
organization’s president for two years, and was instrumental in ASU’s transition to US Speedskating. Duane also devotes countless hours to coaching children with intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics’
speedskating programs. Off the ice, Duane enjoys spending time with Elayne, also a prominent speedskating official, and his family in Sun Prairie, WI. He enjoys softball, football, and relaxing on his houseboat along the Mississippi River. “Perhaps one of the greatest takeaways I’ve had from my involvement with this sport has been the friendships I’ve developed with the people I’ve worked with. It has been an honor to watch athletes like Eric and Beth Heiden, Dan Jansen, Casey FitzRandolph, and most recently Apolo Anton Ohno, grow up in this sport.” Looking ahead Duane sees much growth on the horizon for the sport of speedskating. “It’s one of the greatest sports to get involved in. There’s something in it for the whole family. If you have young children competing, as a parent you can get involved as a coach or an official. I am thankful that my family has had the opportunity to be involved in the sport at so many levels.” Inducted on May 1, 2010 at Richmond, Virginia. Passed away on Sept. 1, 2015
ROBERT W. DOUCETTE
Robert W. Doucette was the primary motivator and fundraiser for the Pettit
National Ice Center in Milwaukee, WI. It was the tireless and persistent efforts
of Doucette that turned the $13.5 million Pettit facility into a reality.
Doucette’s greatest attributes were his persistence, pragmatic approach and
never-give-up attitude. Doucette’s interest in speedskating goes back
to his youth where he competed at local rinks and ponds. A lifelong Milwaukeean
– Doucette felt it was very important to promote his city and get involved
in civic activities. As the President and CEO of Milwaukee Insurance, Doucette
decided to become a major sponsor of the US Speedskating team, backing the
likes of Bonnie Blair, Dan Jansen, Nick Thometz, Eric Flaim and a host of
other world-class athletes. But one of the more fun and unique events created
by Doucette was the Milwaukee Insurance Cup Speedskating Challenge, featuring
elite athletes competing in a variety of off-beat events ranging from relay
races, pack style racing clockwise (vs. the tradition counter-clockwise) and
even cafeteria tray sliding contests. In the 1980’s, with the Olympic
Rink continually in need of repair and the sport of speedskating moving
indoors, Doucette led the charge for an enclosed speedskating oval. The public
sector said it couldn’t be done. The private sector claimed it didn’t have
the funds to support such a project of this magnitude. But Doucette persevered.
“Someone telling my dad that he can not do something, motivated him to prove them wrong,” says Doucette’s son “Although the Pettit died a dozen deaths, my dad never gave up. He was a natural leader with impact based on his love for the community and love for sport and once he gets focused on something he brings a lot of people with him.”
After nearly a three-year effort, on New Year’s Eve 1993, Doucette saw his dream of building an enclosed ice center become a reality with the grand opening of the Pettit National Ice Center. Doucette made this happen by forming partnerships with businesses and influential individuals to raise funds. It was through his connections with the Governor and legislators that the center was able to secure land and funding from the public sector. Doucette also negotiated with the U.S. Olympic Committee to secure the designation as a U.S. Training Facility. Along the way Doucette made friends with George Steinbrenner, who played key role in endorsing the project. Doucette even took charge in orchestrating the facility’s design and oversaw much of the building phase. Doucette later served as the Pettit Center’s first Chairman of the Board, Director on the Board of Directors, and was designated with Director Emeritus status.
Doucette survived his wife, Mickey Douchette, who passed away in 2004. Doucette passed away three years later on April 2, 2007. A lifelong Milwaukeean, Doucette is survived by Diane (Dan) Mancini, Dan (Bz) Doucette, Steve (Pam) Doucette, Margaret Doucette (Jim Henken) Rob (Karen) Doucette, Nancy Doucette (Jim Wilkinson) and 19 Grandchildren. His legacy to the city of Milwaukee and the sport of speedskating will continue to inspire generations of speedskaters. Inducted on April 16, 2011, at Milwaukee, WI.
ELAYNE RILEY As a parent,
volunteer and official, Elayne Riley has been a valued contributor to our
sport for over four decades. Riley began to serve as a competition steward
in the late 1970’s and has continued in that capacity throughout the years
for numerous local, national, and international competitions. Riley has given
many seminars and has been instrumental in bringing more officials to
Riley has been a member of the Madison Speed Skating club since the 1970’s, and a board member of the Wisconsin Speed Skating Association, serving as President for two years. Riley has helped organize many competitions, local, national and international. Riley has volunteered for many US Speedskating committees including the Competition Committee, Officials Committee, and the Finance Committee. Elayne is an instrumental member of Amateur Speedsakting Union Foundation, serving as the organization’s treasurer.
A highlight for Riley was serving as a competition steward at the 2002Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, UT. “Working an Olympic Games was like being on Mars,” she says. “It was really nerve racking because you do not want to make any mistakes. But you end up working with great people that do a great job at their job and make everything work out. It really was an amazing experience.”
Elayne has been married to fellow Hall of Fame member Duane Riley for 47 years. They have three children, Daniel, Julanne and Thomas. Each of their children have all been competitive speedskaters. Her youngest son, Tom, has been a coach for over 15 years and continues to coach various clubs in Wisconsin. Elayne received her Associates degree in accounting and has been an Accountant/Payroll Specialist at WEA Insurance for 20 years. She has also been an Avon Sales Representative for nine years and served seven years as a Union Steward for the United Staff Union. Elayne and Duane reside in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and spend winters in Spring Branch, Texas and continue to be active supporters and fans of speedskating. Inducted on April 16, 2011, at Milwaukee, WI.
ANDERSON Born March 9, 1946. A dedicated advocate for the sport, Bill Anderson
made a significant impact on the sport of speed skating., at both the national
and the international level, for more than 15 years. Bill initially
became involved in speed skating in 1987 as a parent of Kelly and Todd. The
family joined the Park Ridge (Ill.) club and began to participate in local
meets throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. Bill soon became actively involved
as a judge at the local level. The Anderson family moved from Chicago
to Michigan in 1989, where Bill helped organize the West Michigan Speed Skating
Club, and its signature events - the West Michigan Thanksgiving Classic and
the Tri-State Invitational Meet. Bill was also very instrumental in
the North American Championships. Bill served in many leadership capacities
for the Michigan Speedskating Association, including President from 2002-2005.
He was elected as the Michingan Delegate to the Amateur Speedskating
Union (ASU) in 1993, served as the ASU Vice President (1994-1998) and President
from 1998-2000. Bill was a leader in the ASU-USISA merger, establishing
and serving on both the Merger and Merger Implimentation Committies. He
served as an ASU Foundation Board Member from 2001-2010, and continued his
involvement in the sport as a member of the North American Committee, US
Speedskating's Appeals Commission Grievance Panel, amd an international starter until his
dealth on December 31, 2010.
FRANK ZAMBONI Frank
Zamboni had a natural talent for invention, which eventually led to the creation
of the Zamboni ice resurfacer. As his son, Richard Zamboni said, "He never
saw mechanical challenges as a place to stop; they were a beginning point.
He always seemed to be thinking about the machines and never really sat back
and felt that the product was the best it could be. He knew that there had
to be a way to continually improve and worked on it day in and day out."
When Frank, his brother Lawrence and their cousin Pete decided to use
refrigeration equipment to build an ice rink in Southern California, Frank
began to apply his innovative thinking and he soon realized that manually
resurfacing the ice was labor and time intensive and he set out to find a
more efficient process. After almost a decade of testing various concepts,
Frank introduced the Model A – the world’s first self- propelled ice resurfacing
Because of the record breaking performances in the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympic Games, operators of large ice skating tracks in Europe and Japan became aware of the ice resurfacer’s capabilities. Now, six decades after the first machine took to the ice, over 9,500 have been delivered and the machine has had a significant impact on ice sports in arenas around the world. Frank’s continued contribution to the sport included a “one of a kind” machine, his Model L that was built for the 400 meter outdoor track in West Allis, Wisconsin and his design continues to provide outstanding surfaces for the nation and the world’s speed skating athletes. Frank was quite active in and even helped to found organizations which supported a variety of ice sports. Frank was a founding member of the Ice Skating Institute (ISI) and he was an active member in a number of ice industry and arena management organizations. Frank passed away on July 27, 1988. Inducted on May 18, 2013, at Salt Lake City, UT The honor was accepted by Frank's son Richard.