1) U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS FOR LONG TRACK SPEEDSKATING RETURN TO MILWAUKEE AFTER TWO DECADES:
From Tuesday to Sunday, dozens of Olympic hopefuls will compete at the Pettit Center for the Long Track Speedskating Trails.
The last time they were held in Milwaukee was in 1998. The Utah Olympic Oval opened in 2001 for the 2002 Olympic games. Since then, a majority of the speedskating Olympic trials have been held in Salt Lake City for the high elevation.
However, the Pettit Center has still has held other high level speedskating events throughout the years. Every year, the facility holds national or sometimes International competitions. In October 2009, The Pettit held an event that was basically the Olympic Trials, but without the official title.
2) WHY THE RETURN TO MILWAUKEE?
The U.S. Speedskating committee decided to bring the trials back to the Pettit Center because it’s relatively the same altitude as the Gangneung Oval in South Korea.
Four years ago, the U.S. team had trained too long at a higher altitude despite the Olympics being held near sea level in Sochi, Russia.
Team USA has qualified spots for up to eight men and eight women who can fill 24 racing positions in long track speedskating. However, if an athlete makes spots in multiple distances, the U.S. team will take less than 16 skaters to PyeongChang.
Here are a list of notable athletes to watch this week: