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Local speedskaters win success at Winter Olympics

Press Release – Skate NZ
Skate New Zealand is hoping for a positive spinoff from the success of the Kiwi ‘ice’ speedskating team at the Winter Olympics.

Peter Michael, Reyon Kay and Shane Dobbin – from Wellington and Palmerston North – coached by Kalon Dobbin, are to contest the finals of the team pursuit in PyeongChang, which has delighted their roller counterparts.

Skate NZ president Roger Boulcott said it was fantastic for both sports.

“The team has certainly done NZ proud and Skate NZ wishes them all the best for the racing on Wednesday night.

“Peter, Reyon and Shane all started out as inline speed skaters and are all world champions on wheels.

“They switched to ice to chase their Olympic dream and are on track to claim the first winter Olympic medal for New Zealand in 26 years against some of the super powers of the sport. We all hope to be celebrating with them.”

The mullet wearing Michael took to the ice four years ago but remained keen on inline, winning his seventh world title in China in 2016.

Dobbin also has four world inline titles while Kay was a world champion in the relay before the duo switched to ice in 2010.

“Their dedication to inline skating carried over to the ice, and the hard work they have put in is certainly paying dividends.”

The trio only got together when 31-year-old Kay realised their combined times would give them a shot and lured the 38-year-old Dobbin back out of retirement to become the first Kiwis to race as a team at the Winter Olympics.

Boulcott hoped a number of young people would look to take up roller sports on the back of the trio’s success.

“We have 20 skating clubs throughout New Zealand from Auckland to Dunedin who would love to see young people come down and have a go. “The ‘Kiwi Skate Day’ is being held on Saturday, March 3, and it would be great to see anyone interested.”

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