HARTFORD, Wis. — Before Jordan Stolz made a splash at the Winter Olympics, he set records at Addison Elementary School in Hartford.
"It's funny to see him as a big kid, because he still has the same look and the same face and the same things I remembered, yet he's at the Olympics on TV and all grown up," said Cori Merklein, a physical education teacher at the school.
Merklein said Stolz's work ethic stood out even as a kid.
"In first grade, I remember back then Jordan was like every other kid struggling to do pull-ups and had one or two," Merklein remembered.
But by 2nd grade, Jordan set a record with 20 pull-ups.
"When I asked him, 'Jordan how did you get where you are?' He said, 'I work every day, and I practice with my dad,'" Merklein said.
Jordan didn't stop there. He set more records with 40 pull-ups in 3rd grade and 35 in 4th grade. His 3rd-grade record remains an all-school record today.
"I know how important our records are at Addison so I'm sure that still stands out in his mind. Maybe he didn't even know he still held them," Merklein said.
Addison Elementary has been beaming with pride as the 17-year-old Olympic speed skater shines in Beijing. Merklein said their students have been watching videos of Stolz skate and cheering him on.
"They really see it as somebody who started where they are and just how incredible where he's gone. Hopefully, it'll motivate some of our students to excel in the future," said Merklein.
While Stolz prepares for his next event, Addison Elementary hopes he will come back for a visit.