Friday, November 12, 2010
skating the oval.
Yesterday we had such a fun day. We visited the Pettit Center in Milwaukee, one of only 11 indoor 400-meter ovals in the world. Yep, ice skating!
The boys have been looking forward to this for awhile. One of the teens in our homeschool group trains at the Pettit Center, and we have been wanting to check out the oval. After a tour the boys hit the ice...first on one of the skating rinks, and then everyone got to skate on the oval! Very fun.
As you can imagine, Wisconsin is a big winter sport state. And speed skating in particular has produced many Olympians - like Eric and Beth Heiden, Chris Witty and many others. Even Bonnie Blair, who was born in IL, moved to Wisconsin after high school to skate and still lives here. Almost half of the 2006 United States Olympic speed skating team were born and raised in Wisconsin. And of the 18 skaters who were on the 2010 U.S.Winter Olympic long track team, 7 of those skaters train at the Pettit Center and call Milwaukee home!
In fact, we watched Brian Hansen, a 2010 Olympic medalist, skate on the track for a bit when we were there. Of course we also watched the local favorite who is in our HS group - a long track skater who has his own hopes for the 2014 Olympics. We always hear about his skating, but this is the first time my boys have seen him on track - and they now plan on being a part of his cheering section at some competitions this winter. :)
As this was the first ice skating of the year, the boys started out holding onto the walls and sliding across the ice on their booties, but after a bit of practice, they were up and zipping around - and A even was trying to limbo!
After a great day of skating and visiting with friends at the ice rink, we headed home...exhausted and happy boys. Of course A now wants to know more about things - how do they lay the ice and keep it cold? Why do the long track skates make noise?
Did you know speed skating has earned the U.S. the most Olympic medals of any winter sport? At least one speedskater from Wisconsin has been on each winter U.S. Olympic Team since 1932. Speed skating is a human's fastest means of travel without mechanical aid or gravity. All very interesting!
What a great day! We will definitely be skating there again.