(02/10/14) - There's plenty of Olympic pride being felt this week at Midland Civic Arena.
"We're glued to the TV. Absolutely," said Don Smith, speed skater.
The Midland Skating Club is now in its fifty-first year, and in recent weeks has seen its membership jump to more than 40 short track speed skaters.
"Hopefully, they'll keep calling, but yeah, usually in the Olympic year, we do get a big surge of people interested and coming out. We invite everyone to come out and try it at least once," said Joe Rohraff, Midland Speed Skating Club coach.
Fueling that interest, the club's connection to Alex Izykowski, an Olympic Bronze medalist out of Bay City. Izzy's now an assistant coach for Team USA.
"I knew Alex. I've been on the ice with him before. In fact, these blades are Alex's. He skated world competitions with the blades I have on my boots, and I love it," Smith said.
Club members also consider team USA's Chris Krevling one of their own. He's from Pennsylvania, but has spent plenty of time in Midland.
"We met him in Marquette, Michigan at the USOEC, and since then, he comes here three or four times a year, practices with us, helps the kids out, and we've kind of adopted him," said speed skater Tom Schiel.
"It's really exciting knowing that we have someone from the club going into the Olympics. It's getting a lot of skaters in," said speed skater Grace Trosin.
That excitement is inspiring a whole new wave of kids to start skating toward their own Olympic dreams.
"I'm just excited and I'm really positive and know that I'm going to make it there someday, if I keep skating like this, said speed skater Ella Trosin.
For more information about the Midland Speed Skating Club, click HERE.
ABC12 Main Station