US Speedskating Announces 2013-14 National Racing Program Roster and New Coaching Leadership to Guide the Team to Sochi

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Guy Thibault, current Short Track Head Coach, has been promoted to the position of US Speedskating’s Short Track Program Director and Stephen Gough will step up to take Thibault’s place as Short Track National Team Coach.

US Speedskating, the nation’s most decorated Olympic winter sport with 85 medals and counting, today announced the list of athletes who have been named to the 2013-14 National Racing Program, an exclusive team reserved for the sport’s most elite athletes. The organization also promoted a talented coaching duo, Guy Thibault and Stephen Gough, to lead the Short Track National Team to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games as well as oversee this year’s National Racing Program.

Guy Thibault, current Short Track Head Coach, has been promoted to the position of US Speedskating’s Short Track Program Director. Stephen Gough will step up to take Thibault’s place as Short Track National Team Coach. Together, Thibault and Gough will not only train Short Track Olympic hopefuls to contend for a spot on Team USA, but will also oversee the National Racing Program.

Thibault and Gough both have had a successful history with US Speedskating. Thibault, a distinguished Olympic athlete himself, has participated in six Olympic Games as both staff and skater and competed in more than 150 World Cups. Gough has a remarkable resume as well, having previously coached the US and Canadian Short Track Teams to success at World Cups, World Championships and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Now in another Olympic year, Thibault and Gough will be tasked with preparing the athletes for critical competitions, including upcoming World Cups, and the much-anticipated Olympic Trials that will determine Team USA for US Speedskating.

“With a record-breaking 85 Olympic medals and designation of the most successful winter sport in U.S. history, we are thrilled for the opportunity to lead the Short Track National Team and contribute to upholding this tremendous legacy,” said Thibault, US Speedskating’s new Short Track Program Director. “The sport of speedskating has nurtured the greatest of champions and this year will be no different – we will aggressively train and prepare our speedskaters, both mentally and physically, to take Sochi by storm.”

Coaching roles for Thibault and Gough will also include instructing this year’s US Speedskating Short Track National Racing Program (NRP), a group consisting of the most elite short track speedskaters in the country. The top US sprint, distance and all-around athletes comprise the Long-Track National Racing Program. As part of the program, top Olympic contenders receive automatic invites, based on an athlete’s previous season performance, and athletes who have showcased promising talent and potential for future success, receive “earned” invites. The NRP is the highest honor for US speedskaters and all athletes involved are predicted to lead the sport in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

“Both coaches have remarkable track records,” said Mark Greenwald, Executive Director of US Speedskating. “We have no doubt that they are the ideal duo to support, guide and lead our speedskaters to not only attain their own personal dreams, but also to defend the sport’s long-standing title as the most successful Olympic winter sport.”

The 2013-14 National Racing Program athletes invited to participate include:

Long Track Sprint:
Brittany Bowe
Heather Richardson
Kelly Gunther
Clay Cholewinski
Tucker Fredricks
Sugar Todd

Jonathan Garcia
Mitch Whitmore
Lauren Cholewinski
Shani Davis*
Brian Hansen*

Long Track All-around:
Alex Hopp
Joey Mantia
Pat Meek
Petra Acker
Maria Lamb

Alex Ochowicz
Shani Davis*
Brian Hansen*
Jonathan Kuck*
Anna Ringsred*

Short Track:
Alyson Dudek
Emily Scott
Sarah Chen
Chris Creveling
JR Celski
Jeff Simon
Eddy Alvarez
Kimberly Derrick

Travis Jayner
Kyle Carr
Jessica Smith*
Lana Gehring*
Alison Baver
Jordan Malone
John-Henry Krueger*
Keith Carroll*
Cole Krueger*
Emery Lehman*

*Designates athletes not participating.

Both Short Track and Long Track National Racing Programs will continue to be based at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns. There, athletes are surrounded by expert support teams and can take advantage of the high altitude training environment and some of the fastest ice on earth as they prepare for the Sochi.

“Speedskating as a whole is experiencing a wave of positive change,” said Mike Plant, President of US Speedskating. “I am certain the promotion of both Thibault and Gough will go a long way in greatly impacting the sport even further.”

About US Speedskating
US Speedskating has won 85 Olympic medals to-date, making it the most successful winter sport in U.S. history.

The mission of US Speedskating is to be one of the premier speedskating organizations in the world through excellence in leadership, development and performance. In addition to its elite programs, US Speedskating is responsible for the grassroots development of speedskating. Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union as the governing body for the sport of speedskating in the United States, US Speedskating is a non-profit organization.

For more information about US Speedskating or to donate, visit the organization’s website at http://www.usspeedskating.org, or @USSpeedskating on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USSpeedskating, Twitter: https://twitter.com/USSpeedskating/ and YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/USSpeedskating.

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Jessica O'Mahony
US Speedskating
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