A 10-year-old Lacey girl with Olympic-sized dreams is racking up medals for inline speed skating.
Last month, Michaela Renick won two gold medals and eight silver medals in the juvenile division at the 2015 Las Vegas Inline World Cup.
She has won 110 medals total in the past six years and regularly competes against skaters from all over the country. Her ultimate goal is to cross over to speed skating on ice — and try out for the Olympics.
“I’m trying to win every single race I can,” said Michaela, a fourth-grader at Seven Oaks Elementary School in Lacey.
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This weekend, she will don traditional quad skates — which have two front and two rear wheels — to compete in the Spring Quad Classic on March 8 in Gresham, Oregon. Michaela averages about one competition per month, both indoors and outdoors, with her team from Auburn Skate Connection.
She is no stranger to big wins: Michaela captured seven gold medals in the juvenile division at the 2014 State Games of Oregon, an amateur Olympic-style competition.
The 500-meter race is her strongest event, although she has medaled in races as long as 3,000 meters. Each lap in a race is 100 meters. For now, she’s trying to improve her speed at the starting line while fine-tuning her ability to pass opponents on the outside as well as the inside of the track.
When not racing, Michaela plays for the Olympia Washington Warriors roller hockey team.
In fact, skating might be in her blood. Michaela’s parents met while speed skating as teenagers, said her mother, Meagan Renick, who coaches indoor skating in Tacoma.
“The kids that she’s speed skating against are kids of people that I speed skated against,” Meagan Renick said. “Speed skaters breed speed skaters.”
Renick said her daughter has been on roller skates since she was a toddler, but has yet to try speed skating on ice. When Michaela finally gets to that point, she’ll be in good company. The Northwest has a strong speed skating scene, said Renick, pointing to notable Olympic skaters such as Apolo Ohno and J.R. Celski.
“We are a very tight community,” Renick said. “If you grow up as a speed skater, you know other speed skaters, you stay in contact with other speed skaters.”