There's speed aplenty on Mountain View ice

Local club features Olympic connection
By Cliff Pfenning,

The Mountain View Speedskating Club is nearing the close of its practice schedule for November and December and hoping to locate enough new members to be able to continue in January and February.

The club, which formed after the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, has nearly 30 members and practices at Mountain View Ice Arena in Vancouver, Wash. Finding ice time has been an issue, though, says club founder Patty Brennan.

“Hockey dominates the area rinks, so it’s a challenge to find a consistent time to be able to practice,” Brennan says. “And, it’s kind of expensive to rent a rink.”

The club, which will hold it’s final practice of the year at 9:30 a.m., Dec. 20, charges a drop-in rate of $15 per session with skates included.

“It’s fabulous conditioning,” Brennan says. “You just need to know how to skate and turn left.”

The Mountain View club is the lone one in the Portland area.

The practices, all of which involve short-track skill-building, often attract former Olympians who have moved to the Portland metro area.

Becky Sundstrom, an Olympian in 1998 and ‘02 in long course skating, is a regular at practices.

American Shani Davis is a favorite to win at least one gold medal at the Vancouver Winter Games.