The Krones are a hockey family. Dad Scott plays in a local men's
league and 9-year-old JP is one of the best players for his age in
So when 10-year-old Mia decided to call it quits last summer
after three years in the rink, her dad asked why.
"She said she enjoyed skating, but not having to deal with the
puck," Krone says. "So I said, "Have you considered
That's how Mia, a fifth-grader at Hillcrest Middle School in
Wilmette, got involved in speed skating. Long overshadowed by its
glitzier cousin, figure skating, speed skating is a high-wire act
on ice that, every four years, gets a few weeks in the
And northeastern illinois is actually one of the sport's most
fertile training grounds. Shani Davis, the 2006 gold medalist and
current world record holder in the 1000 meters, grew up on the
South Side of Chicago before moving to Rogers Park to train with
the Evanston Speed Skating Club.
Several members of the 2010 U.S. Olympic team have ties to the
area, including Brian Hansen, who was born in Glenview and trained
at the Northbrook club; Nancy Swider-Peltz, Jr., of Wheaton; and
Mary Grace, another Northbrook club alum.
"It's a great sport, and it's nice that every few years, it gets
a little publicity bump," says Lydia Suskin, whose son, Jeff,
skates with the Evanston club.
And when Davis laces up for the 1,000 meters on Feb. 17, the
members of the Evanston club will be gathered the ESPN Zone in
Chicago to cheer him on.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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