A Waukesha native, Mitch Whitmore grew up just minutes away from the Pettit Center. It's the place that would lead him on a journey to his third Olympics as a speed skater for Team USA.
"Before I even started speed skating, I always watched the Olympics. My parents would see me just parked right in front watching every event, didn't matter what it was. To make my first team was such a special experience and each one after that has been even better," Whitmore said.
"So I drove the Zamboni when I first turned 18. I was actually working here. You know, I learned a lot about the ice and how to make it better," Whitmore said.
Despite a lackluster 2014 games, and still on the hunt to reach the Olympic podium himself, redemption is not a work Whitmore would use.
"We've been asked that a lot about redemption and I would say not really. We've had so many competitions since then, big competitions. We have a World Championship competition each season and to us that's just about the same level as the Olympics. I would say we look at it year to year. A goal is medal, to medal in the 500 and do as well as I can in the 1,000 and you never know if I'm skating really well that might be a medal to," Whitmore said.
Whitmore will go for gold in the 500 meter race on Feb. 19, and than the 1,000 meter race on Feb. 23.