Olympic speedskater thanks Mid-Southerners for support - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Olympic speedskater thanks Mid-Southerners for support

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It is that regiment that has made him one of the best skaters in the country. He remains focused on his two races: the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter. It is that regiment that has made him one of the best skaters in the country. He remains focused on his two races: the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter.

(WMC-TV) - One of America's top hopefuls in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic games is speedskater Patrick Meek. He spoke with Action News 5's Andrew Douglas about the family tradition that helped make him an Olympian.

"I actually started skating when I was 2-years-old.Both my father and my grandfather were speedskaters and whereas most families would go out and go out and play tennis or golf, together my dad and I would go skating together, and that's how we bonded," said Meek.

That father-and-son bond has put Meek in the Olympics for the first time, and like any Olympic athlete the training that he has been doing in Utah is all encompassing.

"We probably are skating three hours every morning doing a ton of weightlifting, a ton of biking, and a lot of cross-training exercises besides our on-ice workouts," said Meek.

It is that regiment that has made him one of the best skaters in the country. He remains focused on his two races: the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter.

"Our toughest competition definitely right now is the Dutch, but being on Russian soil in Sochi [we] have to look at the Russians as being another favorite, and the Germans, and the Norwegians as having really strong traditions, but I think the best thing about Team USA is having 300 million Americans pushing us along the way," said Meek.

As Meek pushes toward his first Olympics he has a message for Memphians and the Mid-South.

"So as your cheering us on, I just want to say thank you for spending the time on your weekends and weeknights cheering us on. I look forward to representing this great country to the best of my ability over there," said Meek.

Sochi's opening ceremony kicks off on February 7. You can catch all the frozen action right on WMC-TV5.

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