Junior David Scolare Ranks 14th in Nation in Speed Skating


Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Junior David Scolare loves spending his time on the ice speed skating. Scolare started speed skating nine years ago.

He described himself as adventurous, quiet and mindful.

Speed skating comes in two different disciplines: short track and long track. Short track is done on a hockey rink, and the track is 111 meters. Short track is more dangerous because there are more people and the sharper corners make it easier to crash.

“This is why we wear Kevlar body suits under our racing suit, along with shin pads, knee pads, neck guards and a helmet. Along the perimeter of the hockey rink are thick pads to cushion our crashes. They feel soft when you touch them, but when you crash into them in an awkward position at 20+ mph, they aren’t exactly a feather pillow,” Scolare said.

In short track, you race against the three to six other people in your race and progress through quarter and semi-finals to reach the final.

“My favorite race is the 1000 m on short track,” said the junior.

He treasures the friends and the community of his club.

“We love popping jokes off with one another in between drills and talking about our lives outside of skating. There’s a real family feel to my club. Also, that feeling of finally doing something right after working on it for weeks is so amazing,” he said.

Scolare practices almost six hours over three nights a week, and when he’s not at school or speed skating, he is usually binging The Office on Netflix.

He has met many interesting people from all over the United States. His closest friends are from Chicago because that is who he competes against most often.

“One of the coolest people I have met is Maame Biney, the 19-year-old Olympian that went viral last year during the Olympics for her vibrant personality. I have also met Shani Davis, a two-time Olympic champion, and the guy who inspired Frozone from The Incredibles, so that was pretty cool too,” he said.

Scolare is coached by Shannon Holmes who coaches his club and helps coach hockey players at Cornerstone.

“I think there are around 15-20 other people,” he said. “We have a wide range of ages too, from 4 years old to 50+. But most of the group is in grade school.”

Scolare speed skates because it is a therapy for him. He loves the community feel that his club brings.

“When I step onto the ice, it’s like all of my homework doesn’t matter anymore, any stresses of my life are left off the ice. But also, skating is just such a therapeutic activity once one learns how to do it properly. I don’t know if it has something to do with the wind in your face, or if gliding across the ice is just one of those things that relaxes the body. But whatever it is, it’s really a euphoric feeling,” he said.

Scolare recently competed in the Age Group Nationals competition and took fourteenth in his age group.

“It’s kind of crazy to think that out of all the 16 and 17-year olds in America, I’m the fourteenth best at speed skating,” he said.