Hall of Fame & Olympians

Michigan US Speedskating Hall of Fame Members

Michigan US Speedskating Hall of Fame Members

MICHIGAN SKATERS

Richard "Terry" McDermott, Michigan Speedskating AssociationRichard “Terry” McDermott
Bay City Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 1977
  • Born September 20, 1940
  • Peak 1964
  • Olympic 500 meter gold medalist in 1964 and silver medalist in 1968
  • National and North American Indoor Champion
  • Set 2 National Outdoor records
  • Promoter and officer in USISA
  • Richard "Terry" McDermott, Michigan Speedskating AssociationElected June 4, 1977 at Bay City, Michigan. Submitted by Mike Sturm and the Michigan Association.
sabbeLorraine Sabbe
Detroit Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 1982
  • Born 1927
  • Passed away 1966
  • Peak years 1948-1949
  • Two times national outdoor and North American Indoor championship (consecutive years).  First woman to win both championships two years straight.
  • Set 4 North American indoor records in 1949
  • Officer of Michigan Skating Association
  • Submitted by the Michigan Speedskating Association
Jeane Omelenchuk, Michigan Speedskating AssociationJeanne Omelenchuk
Detroit Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 1984
  • Born March 25, 1931
  • Passed away June 2008
  • Ten times National and North American Outdoor champion in the Senior Class (1957-1965); twice U.S. Open champion; four times U.S. World Team member; three times Olympic Team member (1960, 1968, 1972)
  • Set four National Outdoor Records
  • First woman to win a National title in more than one major sport
  • Won six National Bicycle Racing titles
  • Elected May 19, 1984 at Northbrook, Illinois.  Submitted by Stephen B. Cohen.
Sheila Young Ochowicz, Michigan Speedskating AssociationSheila Young Ochowicz
Wolverine Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 1991
  • Born October 14, 1950
  • National Long Track Champion as a senior in 1970 and 1971
  • Gold medalist at 500 meters, silver at 1500 meters and bronze at 1000 meters at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria
  • World Sprint Champion 1973, 1975 and 1976
  • World Track Cycling Sprint Champion in 1973, 1976 and 1981\
  • Only athlete to win World Championships in two sports the same year
  • Elected May 18, 1991, at Southgate, Michigan. Submitted by Clair Young.
Mario Trafeli, Michigan Speedskating AssociationMario Trafeli
Detroit Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 2010

A native of Detroit, MI, Mario Trafeli first stepped on the ice at age 14 to try short track speedskating. “I always loved sports, playing sports and competing in sports. As a young teen several of my friends were taking up speedskating. They asked me to join them. It was fun and I progressed rapidly. However, it was the discriminatory treatment that my family received as Italian Americans that motivated me to take skating to the next level. To excel and show that Italian Americans were capable of exceeding with integrity at the highest levels of competition and achievement.” Success on the ice came quickly for Mario as he was nationally ranked by age 15. He soon emerged as the youngest winner, first Detroiter, and first Italian American to win the North American Outdoor Speedskating Championship against the top Canadian and American skaters.  During his 12 year skating career, Mario went on to win the Michigan Indoor title six times, held many Michigan state records for various age groups, won the Silver Skates Tournament of Detroit, St Louis and Chicago. He was the 1952 and 1954 winner of the two-mile prestigious Invitational “Race of Champions” held at Madison Square Garden in New York. He was winner of more than 40 tournaments and set five national speed records. With a professional career in his sights, Mario did his undergraduate studies at Wayne State University where he also played Quarterback for the Tartars. He graduated from The University of Detroit Dental School and later served as a Navy dentist. He skated through college and dental school and even worked in some time to skate and win the Silver Skates in Chicago in 1955 while serving in the Navy. In 1960, Mario came out of a four-year retirement to win the Michigan Veteran’s title, where he won three of four races and set two more records. Mario then hung up his competition skates and became a State and National referee, as well as a Michigan delegate to the ASU convention for many years. In 1982 he was inducted into the Michigan Amateur Sports Hall of Fame and also received a State of Michigan Senate Resolution for his contributions to Michigan Athletics. In February 2010, Mario was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and became their first Speedskating inductee.  Mario married his dental school sweetheart, Marjorie Busch, and together they had six children. Mario and Marjorie currently reside in Bloomfield Hills, MI. In addition to his continued support of speedskating, Mario’s pursuits off the ice have included owning and training thoroughbred horses and golfing. At the age of 48, Mario took up the game of tennis. In 34 years of competitive tennis, Mario has consistently held numerous top rankings including SEMTA Singles and USTA Midwest Singles Champ and is currently a member of the #1 USTA Midwest Doubles Team, age 80 and over. Mario’s love of competition, strategic playing and good knees still contribute to his winning style! “Skating has influenced so much in my life. I have so many great  memories. It brought great pride to my family and to my city. It afforded me the opportunity to travel and meet exciting people. I am so grateful to have been a part of its history.”

  • Inducted on April 1, 2010 at Richmond, Virgina.

MICHIGAN CONTRIBUTORS

Benjamin Bagdade, Michigan Speedskating AssociationBenjamin Bagdade
Detroit Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 1973
  • Born January 13, 1904
  • Organizer and promoter throughout Michigan and the Detroit area for 50 years.
  • President of ASU, Manager of U.S. Olympic teams
  • Referee, track steward, Olympic games
  • Elected May 20, 1978 at Oak Brook, Illinois. Submitted by Cass Curran and the Michigan Association.
Roy Helminski, Michigan Speedskating AssociationRoy Helminski
Bay County Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 1983
  • Born April 29, 1918
  • Died July 21, 2002
  • Competitive skater from 1930-1948
  • Organizer and promoter of speed skating throughout Michigan and the Detroit area for 40 years
  • ASU Chief Clerk of Course and Chief Referee
  • ASU Board of Control member for Michigan from 1966-1973
  • 1st Vice President of ASU 1977; President of ASU 1978-80; 3rd Vice President 1980-1983
  • Founded the National Medallion Program fund in 1981
  • Elected May 14, 1983 at St. Louis, Missouri. Submitted by William J. Eyre and the Michigan Skating Association.
Richard Somalski, Michigan Speedskating AssociationRichard J. Somalski
Bay County Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 1991
  • Born September 19, 1926
  • Founded the Bay County Speedskating Club in Michigan in 1946
  • Actively coached and traveled with skaters throughout the state
  • Married Marylin McDermott in 1951 and remembers putting the first pair of skates on 7 year old Terry McDermott
  • Coached Terry until 1960 when he made his first Olympic team
  • President of the Michigan Skating Association in 1964
  • Member of the USISA Board from 1968 to 1992 and was treasurer from 1984 to 1992
  • Elected on May 18, 1991, at Southgate, Michigan. Submitted by Bay County Speedskating Club.
Donald Kangas, Michigan Speedskating AssociationDonald Kangas
Midland Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 2001

He has been active on the National scene since 1979, as a dedicated servant of the sport. Don was President and Coach of the Midland Speedskating Club, 1979-1997, Chairman of the ASU Coaching Committee, 1990-1996, Delegate and Board of Control Member from Michigan, 1985-present, and Editor of the Racing Blade, 1998-2000. He developed much of the Educational material used in ASU Coaching seminars. Wherever there was a need or void in a vital National program, Don volunteered to fill the gap. What he didn’t know about a topic, he asked questions and attended related seminars and coaching courses, to get the right answers. Don has been active in the Boy Scouts of America and an outstanding contributor for 21 years. Don is a retired Chemist for Dow Chemical Co. residing in Midland, MI.

  • Elected May 19, 2001, at Albany, New York. Submitted by Hall of Fame Committee & Michael Kangas
William "Bill" Anderson, Michigan Speedskating AssociationWilliam (Bill) Anderson
West Michigan Speedskating Club

  • Inducted 2012
  • Born March 9, 1946

A dedicated advocate for the sport, Bill Anderson made a significant impact on the sport of speed skating., at both the national and the international level, for more than 15 years.  Bill initially became involved in speed skating in 1987 as a parent of Kelly and Todd.  The family joined the Park Ridge (Ill.) club and began to participate in local meets throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.  Bill soon became actively involved as a judge at the local level.  The Anderson family moved from Chicago to Michigan in 1989, where Bill helped organize the West Michigan Speed Skating Club, and its signature events – the West Michigan Thanksgiving Classic and the Tri-State Invitational Meet.  Bill was also very instrumental in the North American Championships.  Bill served in many leadership capacities for the Michigan Speedskating Association, including President from 2002-2005.  He was elected as the Michigan Delegate to the Amateur Speedskating Union (ASU) in 1993, served as the ASU Vice President (1994-1998) and President from 1998-2000.   Bill was a leader in the ASU-USISA merger, establishing and serving on both the Merger and Merger Implementation Committees.  He served as an ASU Foundation Board Member from 2001-2010, and continued his involvement in the sport as a member of the North American Committee, US Speedskating’s Appeals Commission Grievance Panel, and an international starter until his death on December 31, 2010.

MICHIGAN OLYMPIANS (Not yet in the Hall of Fame)

Kip Carpenter, Michigan Speedskating AssociationKip Carpenter

  • Born April 30, 1979 in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Kip competed in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics winning a bronze medal in the 500 meter race at the 2002 games, while also skating the fastest lap in Olympic history in the 500 meter race with a time of 24.87 for a 400 meter. In 2008 Kip retired from professional speed skating and is now coaching with US Speedskating.

Alex "Izzy" Izykkowski, Michigan Speedskating AssociationAlex “Izzy” Izykowski

  • Born January 26, 1984 in Bay City, Michigan

He competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics of Turin, Italy in the 1500 meter, and was also part of the bronze medal winning 5000 meter relay.

Kimberly Derrick, Michigan Speedskating AssociationKimberly Derrick

  • Born April 28, 1985 in Blytheville, Arkansas

At the 2006 Winter Olympics, Derrick competed in the 1000 meters and the 3000 meter relay. Derrick became the first U.S. Winter Olympian born in Arkansas. In 2010 Winter Olympics Derrick won a bronze medal in the 3000 meter relay. Kimberly began her journey on ice with the West Michigan Speedskating Club

Ryan Bedford, MIchigan Speedskating AssociationRyan Bedford

  • Born October 20, 1986 in Yuma, Arizona

Ryan competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada and is a member of the Mildland Speedskating Club.

John Coyle
Born August 18, 1968 in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan

John competed at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway and won a silver medal in the 5000 meter relay.  John began his journey on ice with the Wolverine Speedskating Club.

Jilleane Rookard

  • Born January 9, 1983 in Wyandotte, Michigan

Jilleane competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada and at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  Jilleane began her journey on ice with the Wolverine Speedskating Club.

Kelly Gunther

  • Born August 14, 1987 in Lorain, Ohio

Kelly competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  Kelly moved to Michigan when she was 11 years old and was an inline speedskater until switching to ice speedskating in 2009.  Kelly is a member of the Wolverine Speedskating Club.

Jessica Smith
Born October 14, 1983 in Melvindale, Michigan

Jessica competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Jessica competed in inline speedskating and switched to ice speedskating in 2008.  Jessica is a member of the Wolverine Speedskating Club.