Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Record books beckon local top outdoor speedskater to national championships

June 20, 2013 Updated: June 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm
0
photo -

The heyday may be over but there is ample reason for inline speedskater Norm Kirby to compete in this weekend's national outdoor championships.

The Colorado Springs resident expects to put his name in the national record books again now that he is competing in the 45-54 masters division.

"This is for bragging rights and getting your name in the record books keeps your sponsors happy," he said recently at Memorial Park, one of two sites for the championships Saturday to Thursday.

They have had good reason to be pleased. The Bont team professional set American 5K records in both the banked track (8 minutes, 17.138 seconds) and road course (7:40.593) in 2012 for the master men's 35-44 division. Those times are well under the older division records. He also holds the 1,500 banked record, set in 2008, in the 35-44 class.

"I am sure there are some feathers being ruffled by me moving up a division. I felt the same way as the old guy in my former division," he said. "With the times I have, I am feeling pretty confident."

The younger competitors are competing for a spot on the U.S. juvenile, junior and senior teams for the 2013 world inline speed skating championships. They will compete in distances ranging from 200 to 10,000 meters for the banked track events at the Memorial Park velodrome and the road course races at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Some of the notables competing include 2012 USA Roller Sports Speedskating Athlete of the Year Justin Stelly and 2012 USOC Female Athlete of the Year Erin Jackson.

Kirby was a world-class speedskater before a broken ankle in 1998 slowed him to the point where he was a top-10 competitor but was no longer a regular on the medals podium.

Kirby started skating as a child at Skate City and rode the sudden popularity of inline sports in the 1990s to professional contracts, TV commercial appearances and travel around the world.

The TV exposure dipped since the sport is not in the Olympics and several of its brightest stars, such as Derek Parra, left to compete in ice speedskating. Pro sponsors became fewer.

But that is the past. Since the injury, he works the overnight shift at UPS, which allows him a flexible schedule for training and competition. He loves the sport and will compete as long as he can.

"It keeps me young," Kirby said.

Comment Policy
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.