On this day, in 2002, Verona’s Casey FitzRandolph won a gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games in the Men’s 500-meter speed skating competition.
FitzRandolph began his career playing ice hockey. His inspiration growing up was Olympic speed skater Eric Heiden. Heiden, born in Madison himself, won five individual gold medals and set four Olympic records and one world record at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.
FitzRandolph’s first international success was in 1997, when he won two 1,000-meter World Cup races in Calgary, skating the second fastest 1,000 meters ever. At the 1998 Nagano Olympics, he placed 6th and 7th in the 500 and 1,000 meters, respectively. At the 2002 Olympics, he broke the Olympic record in the 500 meters. It was the pinnacle of his career.
He competed in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, placing 12th and 9th in the 500 and 1,000 meters, respectively.
Care to lace up some skates on your own and try the ice? Alas, there’s not much ice at Madison’s parks this year, but there are plenty of indoor options available that include open skates, classes, and more.