Heather Richardson

近年、Inline to Ice と言われるが成功例は少ない。しかし、アメリカでは Derek Parra の指導を受け2014年オリンピックを目標に練習していた女子ジュニアチャンピオンだった Heather Richardson が、この2年ほどで急成長、来年のスピードスケート代表選手有力候補に上って来たそうです。

Heather Richardson, High Point, N.C

Heather Richardson
2005 : 500m Sprint Gold Medal (World Speed Skating Championships in Suzhou, China)
2006 : 300m 0:28.343 (USA Roller Sports Track Speed Records)

Heather Richardson
2007 : Heather Richardson, Sara Sayasane and Brittany Bowe (L to R) of the U.S. celebrate after winning the gold medal in the women 5,000 meters relay at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships in Cali August 24, 2007.

HYPER-RACE Forum: For the Heather Richardson Fans (Dec. 13, 2009)
Heather Richardson: Twitter

Former inline skater from High Point in line for Olympics

By Cathy Breitenbucher (Oct. 21, 2009)
MILWAUKEE - In her first two years on the ice, speedskater Heather Richardson made dramatic progress, going from raw talent to national champion.

Heather RichardsonNow it's time to find out whether she can make the U.S. Olympic team.

Racing begins here today at the U.S. World Cup qualifying competition, the first step toward reaching February's Winter Olympic Games.

Richardson, from High Point, is looking to compete in three Olympic events: 500 meters, 1,000 meters and team pursuit.

"I really didn't even think of the Olympics (as a possibility) until last season, because of just coming over to ice and the Olympics coming up so fast," said Richardson, 20, a former inline skating competitor. "I was thinking of 2014, and it's nice to have a shot at it now."

Consistency will be the name of the game for Richardson this season. First, she'll need to place in the top five in her races to make the World Cup team. If, after the four November and December World Cup events, she's in the top 20 in points, she's on the Olympic team.

Richardson's first competition here will be two 500 meter races today.

"I told her, 'I know you want to be excited, but remember we're not ultimately preparing you for this competition,' " said U.S. sprint coach Ryan Shimabukuro. "My job is to prepare her to skate well in the Olympics."

Richardson's major competition should come from past Olympians Jennifer Rodriguez, a double bronze medalist at the 2002 Games who is in the second year of a comeback, and Elli Ochowicz.

Saturday, the three were on the ice for their first time trials at the Pettit National Ice Center. Ochowicz led the 500 meters, while Rodriguez erased Richardson's early edge in their pair of the 1,000 to win by a half-second.

"I feel like we help each other," Richardson said of her teammates. "I can get it going, which helps Jen open up. She finishes strong, and I try to hang on as much as I can."

Richardson won the national sprint title here last December, finished 17th in the World Sprints and was the No. 2 American in the 500 and 1,000 in season-long World Cup points.

At the World Single Distance Championships, she placed 16th in the 500 and 15th in the 1,000. Just as important, that meet was her first chance to see the $172 million Richmond Olympic Oval in suburban Vancouver, British Columbia,

"It was very special to me, because this is where it would happen," the High Point Central graduate said. "I was trying to picture it with a ton of people in there."

Racing on consecutive days was just one of the skills Richardson had to master last season, and she'll be put to the test here. After today's 500s, she'll race a 1,000 on Thursday, a 1,500 on Saturday and another 1,000 on Sunday.

"In those 500s, I plan to go as hard as I possibly can," she said. "It's not really a race where you can relax. The second day is probably better for me. You get something in your legs when you get that first race out of the way."

The reason Richardson is skating the 1,500 is to put herself in consideration for team pursuit, an event that was first held at the 2006 Games. The United States will try to earn a spot in the field during the World Cups.

After last season, Richardson spent about a month at home, then trained and participated in team camps in Utah, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and at the Richmond Olympic Oval. She came away feeling stronger.

"She's grown a lot, but has room for even more improvement," Shimabukuro said. "We're going to make some minor adjustments to make her skating more efficient and effective. She does a lot of things very well. We just have to manage that."

Heather Richardson and Jennifer Rodriguez - 500 Meters (Oct. 10, 2009)

News-Record.com: Former inline skater from High Point in line for Olympics

Richardson grabs spot on Cup team

By Cathy Breitenbucher (Oct. 22, 2009)
MILWAUKEE - One night down, one step closer to Vancouver.

Heather Richardson
peedskater Heather Richardson of High Point had her sights on the 2014 Olympics, but that changed when she started outperforming veterans on the American team.

High Point's Heather Richardson turned in two strong races Wednesday night as US Speedskating's World Cup qualifier got under way at the Pettit National Ice Center.

Richardson finished second to Elli Ochowicz in both 500-meter races, giving the two the top spots in upcoming international races that will lead to 2010 Winter Olympic berths.

"I'm very satisfied," said Richardson, who made the transition from inline skating barely two years ago as she followed in the footsteps of Greensboro Olympic medalist Joey Cheek. "This was not what I expected, this quick."

Ochowicz was the only woman to crack 39 seconds, skating 38.81 in the second of two 500s on Wednesday night. Skating in the same pair, Richardson was timed in 39.17.

Ochowicz and Richardson will be joined on the World Cup team by Jennifer Rodriguez of Miami, Lauren Cholewinski of Murray, Utah, and Rebekah Bradford of Magna, Utah.

Performances in the World Cup will decide the number of skaters each country can enter at the Winter Games in Vancouver. For the sprint race, the maximum per country in the Games will be four.

Richardson's night began with a 39.56-second 500, twenty-two-hundredths behind Ochowicz.

Richardson had grabbed the lead in the 10th pair, but dropped to second when Ochowicz, a two-time Olympian from suburban Waukesha, Wis., raced to a 39.34 in the 11th and final pair.

In Richardson's pair, Rodriguez got off the line well and led after the opening 100 meters. A problem with the electronic timing system prevented the posting of precise 100-meter splits, but unofficially, Richardson was eight-hundredths back.

Over the next 400, Richardson outskated Rodriguez, leaving Ochowicz to try to catch her.

"The first 500 is the one to get all the jitters out," Richardson said. "There were some technical errors -- I slowed my tempo down on the backstretch. So, in the second race, I had to keep my feet moving."

Rodriguez was third in both races, giving her a chance at making a fourth Olympic team. Her times were 39.70 and 39.39.

She was impressed with Richardson's showing.

"She's definitely an up-and-coming skater," Rodriguez said.

Racing continues today with the 1,000 meters for women and men, plus the women's 3,000 and the men's 5,000. Richardson will skate in the 1,000.
News-Record.com: Richardson grabs spot on Cup team
Bella Faccie Sports Media: Heather Richardson (Photos)

Inline Skating Notebiik: Inline to Ice Transition Camp (Sep. 22, 2007)

Ex-inline racer excels

By Doug Alden (Dec. 29, 2008)
Kearns: Heather Richardson had hoped to qualify for the 2010 Olympics in just one event.

Heather Richardson, High Point, N.C

Heather Richardson
Heather Richardson, of U.S., catches her breath Tuesday after winning the women's 1,500 meters at the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns. (Steve C. Wilson / The Associated Press)

two years since switching over from inline speedskating to ice, Richardson is Vancouver-bound in three distances instead of just the one.

Richardson locked up her third Olympic spot by topping her personal best and the rest of the competition in the 1,500 meters Tuesday at the U.S. Speedskating Championships. Her time of 1:56.22 was more than two seconds ahead of her personal best and 2.51 seconds faster than any other woman Tuesday.

"It was definitely a surprise," said Richardson, who wasn't racing on ice yet during the 2006 Olympics.

The 20-year-old from High Point, N.C., had already locked up spots on the U.S. team for the 500 meters and 1,000, so she could just relax and go for it in the 1,500. And go she did.

Richardson's time for the first lap was 25.21 seconds, 0.44 ahead of Elli Ochowicz in the other lane.

"I've never skated that fast in the first lap of a 1,500," she said. "I was like. 'Oh! I'm on a good one. Try to keep it up!'"

Richardson beat second-place Nancy Swider-Peltz Jr. by 2.51 seconds. The U.S. roster for the 1,500 will be Richardson, Jilleanne Rookard and Jennifer Rodriguez, who is headed to her third Olympics.

It will be the first Olympics for Richardson and 19-year-old Brian Hansen, who clinched a spot by taking third in the men's 1,500 meters later Tuesday.

The American men were already stocked in the distance with world record holder Shani Davis, three-time Olympic medalist Chad Hedrick and Trevor Marsicano. The fourth spot was open Tuesday and Hansen took the lead late in the men's round with a time of 1:44.83.

Paul Dyrud and Jonathan Kuck couldn't top that in the next pairing and the only skaters left were Hedrick and Marsicano. Hansen knew he could do no worse than third, which was good enough for the No. 4 spot the Americans have in Vancouver.

"All I had to do was be in first before their pair and then I'd be in," said Hansen, a 19-year-old from suburban Chicago.

Hansen injured a disk in his back in late July and had to limit his training through the fall.

"I thought I was lucky just to make it past the fall trials. Now I'm here," he said.

Hedrick has been fighting a stomach bug this week but still managed to skate a time of 1:44.00, beating Marsicano by 0.33 seconds. Davis, who won Olympic silver in the 1,500 in 2006 and gold in the 1,000, didn't race Tuesday.

Salt Lake Tribune: Ex-inline racer excels

Richardson quickly adjusts to life in the fast lane

By Gary D'Amato (Dec. 29, 2008)
Heather Richardson made the conversion from inline skating to speedskating 15 months ago and still needs a lot of technical refinement on the ice.

Derek Parra, the former Olympic gold medal-winner who first worked with Richardson in U.S. Speedskating's Wheels to Ice Program, describes her as "raw." Ryan Shimabukuro, the national sprint team coach, calls her "green."

She does have one thing going for her.

She's very, very fast.

Richardson, 20, of High Point, N.C., turned heads during the first day of sprint competition at the U.S. Long-Track Speedskating Championships on Monday.

She swept the 500- and 1,000-meter races at the Pettit National Ice Center, beating three-time Olympian Jennifer Rodriguez and two-time Olympian Elli Ochowicz in both. Her times were 39.36 seconds in the 500 and 1 minute 18.49 seconds in the 1,000.

"I was excited with how I skated," said Richardson, who trains with the national team in Salt Lake City. "I'm definitely surprised."

Ochowicz finished second in both races and Rodriguez, who won a World Cup 1,000-meter race two weeks ago in Nagano, Japan, was third in the 1,000 and fifth in the 500.

Rodriguez is still weak from a stomach virus and is trying to get used to new skate blades after breaking a blade last week. She had a slow opening 100 meters in the 500 (11.57 seconds) and couldn't recover.

"She's battling mentally," Shimabukuro said. "Jen is really weak physically. She had no power. Plus, she's struggling with new blades."

Tucker Fredricks of Janesville won the men's 500 in 35.35 and Shani Davis of Chicago, who trains at the Pettit Center, finished second in 35.62.

Davis, ranked No. 1 in the world in the 1,000, cruised to victory in that race in 1:09.20, more than a full second faster than Trevor Marsicano (1:10.24).

Davis skipped the 10,000 meters Sunday but otherwise skated the allround program and also is entered in all four sprint races. The sprint competition concludes today with another 500 and 1,000 for men and women.

"I was able to get a lot of top speed today in comparison with the first two days so I'm happy I was able to make the transition going from the allround to the sprints in less than 24 hours," Davis said. "Training has been going good and hopefully I can go overseas and win some (World Cup) medals."

But the story was Richardson, who skated with the B Group in fall World Cups and has yet to make much of an impression internationally. She won the allround 1,500 on Sunday, followed it up with the sweep Monday and is halfway to the U.S. women's sprint title.

"She's so green right now," Shimabukuro said. "Every opportunity she has, she just gets better. She's very coachable and she likes to race."

Parra said Richardson was wobbly on the ice when she first tried short-track skating in September 2007.

"On long track skates, she was a little less apprehensive," he said. "She had great contact with the ice. Some skaters look nice. She was a little more two-footed but she pushed the whole time.

"Her straight-aways still need work but she has a natural left (foot) push that is just sick. She gets everything out of it."

Richardson still tends to stand up coming out of turns, a carryover from her inline days, but said she managed to stay down in her races Monday.

"It's good that Elli and Jen have somebody right there to help push the pace," Shimabukuro said.

Push the pace? Right now, Richardson is setting it.

Asked about beating two Olympians, she said, "It motivates me a lot. I'm excited about my races tomorrow."
JSOnline: Richardson quickly adjusts to life in the fast lane

Ask An Olympian: Speed Skater Heather Richardson

By Jason Clough, MyNC
Heather RichardsonHave you ever wondered how long an Olympian trains each day? Maybe you've always wanted to know their favorite foods? It's not every day we get the chance to interview an Olympian.

We want to know what questions you think we should ask Olympic speed skater and High Point, NC native Heather Richardson?

Richardson will compete in the 500, 1000 and 1500 meter speed skating competitions next month in the Vancouver Olympic Games.

Send your questions to newstips@wncn.com. Please be sure to include your first name and city.

You never know, we just may ask her your question!

Keep checking back to MyNC.com to hear Heather's answers.
MyNC.com: Ask An Olympian: Speed Skater Heather Richardson