Pinnacle Camp Fosters Progress and Friendship
by Aidan Liu
From June 27th to July 2nd, 47 skaters from 12 speed skating programs and clubs in the United States, Canada and China, participated in the Pinnacle Short Track Summer Camp hosted by Pinnacle Speedskating Program at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The coaches present at the camp were Hongyang Wang, Ming Gao and Jori Kola. Hongyang Wang is the current head coach of the Pettit Junior National Development Program, and U.S. Short Track Beijing 2022 Olympic Team Coach. Ming Gao is a level 2 US Speedskating Certified Coach and the Elmbrook Speedskating Club Head Coach. Jori Kola, is a level 2 US Speedskating Certified Coach and the head coach of the Wisconsin Speedskating Club. Guest coaches included Ryan Bedford, former speedskating Olympian in the 2010 Vancouver Games and current athlete representative of the board of the Athletic Advisory Council for US Speedskating, and Julie Letai, current Short Track Speedskating National Team member and Pettit Junior National Development Program Alumni.
During the camp, skaters worked on their technique as well as their teamwork skills through the practice of relays. Additionally, 10 speed skaters from the Pettit Junior Program and Pinnacle collaborated to interview and learn from Julie Letai, Ryan Bedford and Wang Beiming who had a wealth of speedskating experiences and personal advice for the skaters at the camp. Julie Letai and Ryan Bedford gave valuable insights into the life of an Olympian and how to balance outside life with skating life, while Wang Beiming, a well-esteemed coach who developed skaters like Hongyang Wang, Ren Ziwei, and Zhang Yuting into world-class skaters of Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion caliber, shared his advice from the perspective of a coach and how skaters should reflect on their personal goals and skating.
Great experiences and friendships were made at this camp, and a lot of people made huge progress on their personal and technical goals. We hope to see you again next year!
Aidan Liu is a short track speed skater from the Pettit National Ice Center Short Track Junior Development Program