A Champion's Spirit: Local man among top regional speed skaters

Posted at: 02/10/2014 7:27 PM
By: Kim Tobin, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A New Mexico man is proving that anyone who shows dedication and passion, can have the champion spirit. Jamey Shelton is a small business owner who recently found his new passion in speed skating. In just a few short years he's already placed among the top in the region.

"Speed skating was one of those things you see it on TV, or you see it on the Olympics, and it's just one of those things you fantasize about," Shelton said. "They're going so fast and it looks like so much fun."

Shelton has always been active and competed in running events since he was in the fourth grade. He never knew he would love speed skating until he read an article by a Santa Fe trainer four years ago.

So he gave it a try. And he was a natural.

"The first time you reach down and you touch the ice on the corner, it's like, I'm a big player now," Shelton said.

After training for a couple years Shelton started competing against southwest speed skaters in regional races in Colorado. He took home the gold in 2012.

"It's easy to go fast because that's the easy part," Shelton said. "Staying up, having the stability and being able to concentrate and stay on your line; that's the most important thing."

Shelton says he skates because he loves it. For anyone trying something out of his or her comfort zone, he says love and dedication is key.

"I come out here three times a week, getting up at five in the morning because it's what I want to do," Shelton said. "And if it's really what you want to do, it will just come to you."

Shelton says he will keep training. When he's ready he wants to speed skate in Salt Lake City with some tougher competition.