S M I L E S ! !

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Smiles. Believe it or not, smiles are a very necessary piece of your speed skating equipment...that is, if you want to get good. It's simple: if you don't have fun, you will not get good. That's why you should always bring a smile with you to the rink .
 For example, take the kid below. From the day he first stepped on the ice, he had a smile with him more often than just about any other skater I've ever coached. Even after a crash, he often managed to smile about it, since all skaters sometimes crash!

 In November 1994, this guy crashed and broke his leg. Keeping a positive attitude (and at least trying to smile), he got through this hard period, and just 5 weeks later, with 3 screws in his leg, RUSTY SMITH won the US Junior World Team Trials and traveled to Courmeyur, Italy (high in the Itialian Alps) to compete in the Junior World Short Track Championships!
And in 1997, at his second Junior Words, Rusty was again injured, with a dislocated left shoulder. And again, just 6 weeks later, he qualified for the US World Team (the "real" or "Senior" World Team) and got to go to Japan for the 1997 Worlds ! The US Relay Team, which Rusty was on, came away from the 1997 Worlds with a 4th place in the Relay Final!

Ah, but that's not all, folks!  This January, in the first weekend of the
USA Olympic Short Track Trials, Rusty first won the 1000 meter Final.
Then he crashed in the 500.  The second weekend, after 3 hard falls in
practice during the week, Rusty again crashed big time during the
500 meter semi.  But he skated an very good 4 lap time trial, getting the
2nd place time and 3 points.  He missed the 1000 Final by an inch, but in the final tally, because he kept his head and skated well in spite of having
bad races and hard falls, Rusty Smith finished second overall, and is now a member of the 1988 United States Olympic Short Track Speed Skating Team, and qhalified to skate in every Short Track event at the Olympics in Nagano!


If you want to know if Speed Skating is fun, just ask these skaters of the Southern California Speed Skating Association.



Games teach many of the racing skills!

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