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Local speed skater has eyes set on 2018


Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 --- 7:30 p.m.

Madison --- Casey Fitzrandolph, Apollo Ohno, Shani Davis. Those are just some of names we think about when it comes to Olympic speed skating. But there's one local teenager who could be in that conversation in a few years.

19-year old, Luke Tweddale would be the first to tell you, this is
his job. He's fully committed on the ice, and off, to make it to the 2018 Olympic games to represent both Madison and the United States.

The day starts early, and off the ice for Tweddale. For the past two and a half years, Chad Yonkus has been Luke's personal trainer.

"It's like watching Jordan in the playoffs, closing his eyes, and
hitting a three pointer at the buzzer. He's in the moment, he's in the
flow," said Yonkus.

"Each time he comes in here, I'm attached to him having the absolute best workout that he can have and put him in places he's never been before," said Yonkus.

An exhausting hour long session, three times per week. It's just the beginning of this Olympic hopeful's day.

Analyzing tape is apart of the job. He studies like a football coach, watching film ahead of a big game. Keeping a close eye on the competition.

"It's the best form of training I can do, is watching the best people do it," said Tweddale.

This year Luke made it to the Olympic trials, but not the team.

"He just really had two speeds. On and off," said Luke’s mom, Jenina Mella.

As Luke prepares a healthy lunch, his mom looks ahead to the rest of his day.

"The schedule is really, aimed at sleeping, eating, training, and driving," said Mella.

73-miles, and roughly an hour and fifteen, to the Petit National Ice Center is the next part of his routine.

"I want to make the next Olympic team, and I'm going to be working
on that all the time," said Tweddale. "In a very real way, this is my job."

A job with no pay-check, instead funded by family and friends. They’re people Luke thinks about while circling the oval.

"I'm free to leave at anytime. But as long as I choose to be in it, I'm in it 100%," said Tweddale.


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