I don't even have words for it. For me this is something I’ve worked for eight plus years, I don’t know, complete elation, relief and everything, happiness, excitement, rolled up into one. Definitely excitement that I get to represent my country on the highest platform. —Kyle Carr, on realizing his Olympic dreams
Kyle Carr is a former inline skater from Pennsylvania who lives and trains in Kearns, Utah. He made the 2014 Olympic team, fulfilling a life-long dream of competing for the United States. He helped the U.S. win bronze in relay at the 2011 World Championships, and he also has two silver medals in World Cup relays, as well as a bronze. His top individual finish is a fifth place in the 1,500 in the Montreal World Cup. He was nominated to the 2014 U.S. short-track Olympic team at the conclusion of team trials the first week of January. He talked with the Deseret News about achieving his goal and the difficulty of staying committed as he got older.
1. You spent most of your life on inline skates. Why switch to speedskating?
To compete in the Olympics. There are a lot of similarities in the sports, and a lot of inliners have made the switch. Most of the team is former inline skaters.
2. You switched to short track from inlines in 2001. Are you surprised it's taken this long to make an Olympic team?
I’m not one that puts a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to competition. Obviously I would have liked it to happen sooner. But I’m not upset with the timing. I had no plans. I broke my ankle in 2005 — before the 2006 trials. The four years in between there leading up to the Games in Vancouver, I kind of focused on school, and didn’t really have plans to skate after that. But things fell into place, and I'm thrilled I made the decision to keep at it.
3. What went into the decision to stick with speedskating four more years in 2010?
I kind of got lucky at a competition and ended up making the world team. Then I was offered a spot to train out here in Salt Lake City with the national team. After a lot of thought, I decided I was going to commit to it. That was 2010. After some thought, I decided I was going to commit these four years and finish my college degree after the Olympics and just go for it.
4. When you decided to commit your life to speedskating, what did that mean giving up?
I would definitely say that, obviously, I put my professional career on hold. Everything took a backseat to training and working out, and being the best speedskater I could be for these four years. Because I knew at the end of these four years, I was going to walk away no matter what. I’m at an age now where I kind of want to progress with my life. I’m getting married in September. I’d love to speedskate forever, but it doesn’t pay the bills.
5. How gratifying is it to realize your Olympic dream, especially on the ice where you train?
I don't even have words for it. For me this is something I’ve worked for eight plus years, I don’t know, complete elation, relief and everything, happiness, excitement, rolled up into one. Definitely excitement that I get to represent my country on the highest platform.