My name is Kyle Carr and I am a short track speed skater. I have been gifted with an extraordinary talent that has earned me a spot on the US Olympic Team for Sochi 2014!
This has been a life long dream; to compete as an elite athlete while representing my friends, family, community, and country.
The road leading up to the Olympic Trials of 2014 started years ago when I was just 3 years old. I competed in my first national inline competition on conventional roller skates where my need for speed was first embraced! In 2001, I traded the wheels and wood floors for a sharp set of blades and ice.
In 2004, just before starting my senior year of high school, I made the decision to move away from my family and friends to live, train, and continue my education at the Olympic Education Center in Marquette, Michigan. My first year at the Olympic Education Center brought a new level of intense training which, in turn, pushed me to new levels of athletic ability. I was training with the most elite skaters in the country and reaching goals I never dreamt possible.
In 2005, my perseverance and new approach to training was beginning to pay off. I qualified for the Junior World Team and the World Cup Team and earned my first international gold medal in Slovakia. Just as my career as an elite athlete was beginning to take flight, I fell. Literally. I earned myself a different type of "hardware"; a pin and screw were placed in my ankle to repair my shattered medial-malleolus (ankle bone). After 2 surgeries, rehab, 8 months without skating, and being told my ankle would never be the same, I was determined to overcome the odds and returned to the ice to chase my dream.
It was a long, tiresome, and at times, depressing journey. I was ready to hang up my skates and my results directly reflected those negative thoughts and feelings. At this point in my life my high school sweetheart, Siobhan O'Rourke, and I decided that it would be best if she moved to Marquette to help offset the cost of living and training, and most importantly, be there as a support system. This was the turning point of my career. Siobhan encouraged me to chase my dream with tenacity, pushed me through the lows and brought a new sense of focus to my skating.
Siobhan was preparing to graduate in May of 2010 with her Bachelors Degree and I was debating whether it was time to become an adult and pursue a 'normal' career. With the last competition of the season approaching, the idea of leaving short track was a becoming a reality. Little did I know, that weekend would change my life! In my heart I knew I was not ready to quit, and that drive skated me onto my first World Championship team in Sofia, Bulgaria. After Worlds, I was invite to train at the US National Racing Program in Salt Lake City, Utah. Within 2 months, we packed up our lives in Michigan and drove across the country to give this dream of mine one last shot on a different elite platform.
Since my move to Salt Lake City, I have competed on several World Cup and World Championship teams earning medals along the way, highlighted by a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Scheffield, England. I also managed to gain the courage to propose to Siobhan, asking her to not only share the rest of my crazy skating career with me, but also her life. She of course said yes!
On January 2-5 of 2014, the US Short Track Olympic Trials were held at the Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah. It was a brutal weekend of racing. I fell twice, but managed to maintain enough overall points to proudly say I qualified to represent my country at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. This journey that started out as a little boy's dream is now my reality!
From Pennsylvania to Michigan and then to Utah, I have endured adversity on so many levels. Everything that has affected me on this journey has positively influenced the athlete and person that stands before you today. I am thankful for everyone that has taken an interest in my journey and quest for gold!
Thank you all for your support! I sincerely could not have done this without each and every one of you.
Christopher Kyle Carr
Support Olympic Travel Expenses: http://www.gofundme.com/kylecarr