With a rich history and unmatched Olympic heritage, the Pettit National Ice Center is a haven for speed skating. You, too, can grace the same ice as past and present U.S. Speedskating Olympians before you. No matter your skating level, you can get into speed skating at the Pettit National Ice Center!
People have always sought efficient ways to do things. Speed skating is a human's fastest means of travel without mechanical aid or gravity. The sport's first steel blade was produced in Philadelphia, PA, in 1850. This marked the beginning of modern skating and cleared the way for today's skaters.
Since speed skating became a Winter Olympic event, no single American sport has won more Olympic medals. With names like Eric Heiden, Bonnie Blair, Dan Jansen, Eric Flaim, Cathy Turner, Casey FitzRandolph, Jennifer Rodriquez, Derek Parra, Chris Witty, Apolo Anton Ohno and Rusty Smith, the U.S. has a rich legacy in the sport of speed skating.
Starting in 1967 with the outdoor Olympic Ice Rink at Wisconsin State Fair Park, Milwaukee has served as the center of U.S. speedskating. The old outdoor Oval not only gave birth to U.S. Speedskating, but also paved the way for the state of the art Pettit National Ice Center which opened in 1992.
Wisconsin speedskaters are on an incredible streak. At least one speedskater from Wisconsin has been on each winter U.S. Olympic Team since 1932. 35% of the U.S. medals won at the Olympic Winter Games are speedskating medals. Plus, 80% of those speedskating medals have been won by speedskaters who trained and/or competed at the Pettit Center. The Pettit Center serves as an important and vital piece of U.S. Speedskating, acting as a central hub for training and development of U.S. Long Track and Short Track Speed Skating athletes.