February 26, 2010
When U.S. speed skaters Trevor Marsicano and Chad Hedrick take the ice tonight in the men's team pursuit, medals are only part of their pursuit.
"As a Christian, I of course want to prove that I'm the best, but at the end of the day my sport doesn't define me as a person—my actions do," Hedrick, 32, said. He missed medaling in the 1500m and the 500m, but will take home a bronze for his performance the1000m.
"[A]lthough I didn't accomplish my goals, I gave it 100 percent for my country and God's glory," he told Crosswalk.com.
Hedrick's past didn't always include the rigorous training that his sport demanded, but he readily rededicated himself to the hard discipline after some disappointing finishes in 2006 and 2007. That reinvigorated work ethic is also paired with new fans - his wife, Lynsey, who he married in 2008, and their daughter, Hailey, born last March.
"I have grown tremendously as a person since 2006, and I was excited to see ‘The New Chad Hedrick,'" he said. "It was important to me to inspire people with my transformation and I feel as if God was seen in my eyes to millions."
His teammate, newcomer Trevor Marsicano, brings a similar focus to the Games. The 21-year-old burst onto the scene in the 2009 World Single Distance Championships, even beating Olympic champion Shani Davis in the 1000m.
Marsicano faces the uncertainty of his sport everyday, when he sees the long scar running down his leg. In 2004, he lost half the blood volume in his body when another skater slipped during a short track competition, slicing Marsicano with his skate as he went down. The injury kept Marsicano back for almost a year.
Today, the injury is just one reminder of his vulnerability. He wears a cross necklace during the Games to remind him "that God is always in control."
Even as he focuses on the Olympics, Marsicano has bigger plans.
"God is a very important part of my life. I eventually want to be involved with kids o help them through any struggles they may face," he said.
"Anything is possible through Christ. So many people have kept me on a good path in my youth and I want to pass that help and faith onto others.
The two men compete in the team pursuit of long track speed skating, with the quarter and semi-finals tonight, and the Medal event is tomorrow. Check your local NBC listing for times.
*Photo of Trevor Marsicano courtesy NBC/USOC.