Long Beach Speed Skater Races Against the Clocks
Long Beach Patch - over 6 years
Fifteen seconds stands between Jacki Munzel and the Winter Olympic trials.
But the speed skater from Long Beach faces roadblocks: her age and, unlike her dominant Dutch counterparts, the inability to train regularly at a regulation-sized oval.
“I’m skating against people that are skating six days a week and I’m not,” said Munzel, who at 48-years-old has returned to the ice after hitting a barrier.
Her fastest time in the 3,000 meters is 4:32, but to qualify for the trials possibly as late as one month before the Olympics in Sochi, Russia in February 2014, she must shave her time down to 4:17.
Instead of trekking 300 miles to the nearest oval in Lake Placid, Munzel trains daily either at her West End home on a Plexiglas slide board to simulate ice, or she runs the boardwalk and performs non-stop imagination drills along the shoreline from Neptune to Tennessee beaches. She otherwise trains on a short track twice weekly, rollerblades along the Wantagh Parkway...
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