Maple Ridge speed skater Marshall Shupe II tried out for the U.S. Olympic short track team over the weekend in Utah, and had some great races.
He is a dual citizen, and has been training with the American FAST program, which is a high-performance team at the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City.
On Friday, Shupe finished fourth in both the 1,500m and 500m races, as he posted personal best times in both events.
On Saturday, he finished second in the second 1,500m race. During Shupe’s semi final he advanced to the B Final due to being bumped by skater Joonwah Hong. Shupe was in last position until the last three laps where he came from behind in a tight second place finish .007 seconds in front of national team skater Marcus Howard.
On Sunday, Shupe skated his second 500m. He was rounding the final corner in second place, but fell and came in fourth. However, due a starting equipment malfunction at the start of the race, he was advanced. He fell again during the semi-finals, and finished fifth.
He also raced the 1000m event, but did not advance.
So Shupe finished the weekend ranked ninth in the 500m, 15th in the 1000m and 12th in the 1,500m.
Marshall said he was grateful for the experience of competing for a chance to skate against the best in the country for a chance to attend the Beijing Olympics, and that it will help him make the US National Team this year.
Kyle Ludeman, the president of the Ridge Meadows Racers Speed Skating Association, reflected the excitement in the local club at having one of their own competing on such a big stage.
“Marshall and his sister have skated with our club since they were very young. Marshall was always fast, a hard worker, and always had excellent technique – naturally, being coached by the Donatelli-Greens – and he was always excited to be on the ice,” he said.
“It’s amazing to see him excel at such a high level, even from afar, as he’s been training in Salt Lake City for a few years now.”
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