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Hedrick to retire from speedskating
Tim Ellsworth, Baptist Press
February 23, 2010

Hedrick to retire from speedskating

Hedrick to retire from speedskating
Tim Ellsworth, Baptist Press
February 23, 2010

VANCOUVER — U.S. speedskater

Chad Hedrick finished sixth in the men’s 1500 meters Feb. 20 in the last

individual race in his speedskating career.

Hedrick still has the team pursuit event Feb. 26-27 but has announced he is

retiring from speedskating after Vancouver.

“I think you can watch on video and know that my race looked a lot different

than it did in the 1000 meter,” Hedrick said of his 1000 meter bronze medal

performance. “I am so shocked that I did better in the 1000 meter than in the

1500 because I don’t even practice it, and that’s what’s tough for me to

swallow right here.”

Photo by David G. McIntyre/Genesis Photos

Speedskater Chad Hedrick has announced that Vancouver will conclude his Winter Olympics career.

Hedrick’s mission in Vancouver was to show the world that he is a different

person than he was in 2006, when he won three medals.

Once considered to be the

“Paris Hilton of speedskating” for his active nightlife, Hedrick has since

married and had a daughter; in recent months he also had become a Christian and

was baptized. On the top of his skating blade he has written the letters “CGIM,”

which stands for “See God in me,” as a reminder to himself that the world is

watching.

“This race doesn’t define me,” Hedrick said after the 1500 meters, a race which

he considered his best event.

Now, with his life rooted in Christ, “I am much

bigger than this race today,” he said.

In other weekend results from the Olympics, U.S. bobsled pilot John Napier and

his brakeman Steven Langton finished in 10th place in the two-man competition.

Napier also is a relatively new Christian and was baptized last year by pastor

Derek Spain at Lake Placid Baptist Church in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“I’m ecstatic about the finish of the race and how everything went,” Napier

said. “I’ve had more fun here than I’ve ever had in my life. We raced well, we

pushed well. I made a bunch of mistakes driving, but hopefully we can use it

all as practice, and hopefully the Lord gives me the skills and form to pull

together some successful runs and maybe get a medal for the guys (in the Feb.

26-27 four-man event).”

British skeleton racer Adam Pengilly, who attends an independent Baptist church

in his homeland, finished in 18th place in his event.

Pengilly acknowledged

before the Winter Games that this season had been the most difficult of his

career, plagued by a knee injury and complications in recovering from that

injury. But his intention is to continue competing in the sport, because that’s

the path he believes the Lord has set before him.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Ellsworth, director of news and media relations at Union

University in Jackson, Tenn., is covering the 2010 Olympics for Baptist Press.)