Founded in 1980 by 3 time
Olympian, Terry McDermott
A Humble Beginning
Terry McDermott started as barber in Essexville, MI where he began his love for Speed Skating where he become known as the ``Essexville Rocket``
Cold War Rivalry
He arrived at Innsbruck, Austria solidly in the shadow of Russia’s Evegeny Grishin. The four-time Olympic gold medalist had thoroughly dominated the sport, going undefeated in international competition since 1956.
The Essexville Rocket crossed the finish line in 40.1 seconds, shattering the Olympic record and stunning Grishin for the gold. As the only gold medal won by the U.S. in the 1964 Games.
McDermott returned to the States a national hero, famously earning a spot on the Ed Sullivan Show on the same night as The Beatles (Pretending to Cut Paul's Hair)
Terry McDermott, who carried the U.S. flag at the Opening Ceremonies in 1968, would take the Olympic Oath on behalf of all the judges in 1980. He traveled to 12 straight Games, serving the U.S. Speedskating Association in various roles and working as a television and radio analyst.
He mentored the likes of national heroes Eric Heiden, Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair and had an up-close-and-personal view as U.S. speedskaters successfully built on his achievements.