MILWAUKEE — As a parent, you can't hide Bonnie Blair Cruikshank's disappointment. Her daughter Blair has a positive COVID-19 test and will not compete at this week's U.S. Speedskating Trials.
The few athletes, coaches and officials that are allowed inside the Pettit Center this week will be tested every day.
"I know my daughter's worked hard," Bonnie Blair Cruikshank says with a hint of emotion. "We just try to tell her and she kind of already knew it. She was looking four more years down the road. But for her, this year, this was her Olympics."
The B Bizzle Bunch and fans packed the stands last time at the Pettit National Ice Center. But not this time.
"It was almost like you felt like you were in Holland because the place was sold out," Blair Cruikshank says. "It was electrifying. It helps the athletes to go faster. It helps that whole atmosphere. So on that respect, that's really a bummer. But once again, you want the athletes to be safe. I guess I would have really liked to been able to see maybe each athlete get like 10 tickets so that their family could at least be here and be able to watch them and they'd just have to pick and choose. It's a huge building."
Now athletes and coaches hope the protocols set by U.S. Speedskating keep everyone safe.
"It's not a bubble like what the NHL did. When they were all living in the same hotel. Eating the same food. On the same sterilized bus. It's hard to make a fool proof situation when you're dealing with people from all over the place."
As a five time Gold Medalist, Bonnie just hopes Milwaukee and the Pettit show well this week.
"This is also a way for us to showcase our sport," Blair Cruikshank says. "With the place being sold out almost every day, that was huge for us to try to drum excitement up for our sport, and that part for me is definitely disappointing."