Former Executive Director of US speed skating shares memories of Olympic glory

(WFLA) – It takes a team to help bring home all of those individual medals.

News Channel 8 introduces you to a former figure skater turned coach who went on to head one of speed skating’s top organizations.

In the process, had a hand in collecting nearly a dozen Olympic medals for the United States in Vancouver back in 2010.

All of it is because of the passion of a man by the name of Bob Crowley.

In his home office, personal photos catch only a glimpse of their glory.

“They all went home with medals, every one of them, they went home with a medal,” Crowley said.

But long before becoming Executive Director of U.S. Speed Skating, Crowley’s journey began lacing up his own set of competitive skates as a national level competitive figure skater.

Later, he hung up those ice skates and turned to coaching.

“I coached for many years and actually coached a young man who went on to the Olympic Games in 1994, Scott Davis,” he said.

He says from the sidelines, he remembers literally living every twist, turn and tumble his athletes made on the ice.

“As a coach, if your skater doesn’t perform to the level that they’re capable of…you just die with them,” he explained.

Years later, his biggest challenge came with not just leading Olympic athletes, but also the team behind those athletes.

“I put the team together in 2010 in Vancouver as Executive Director for speed skating and put together all the coaches and high performance staff and all that. And at the Olympic games it’s a little tougher because now that’s what they’ve been striving for their entire life,” said Crowley.

Later, Crowley left the ice rink for the waves of fresh water.

He now lives in Polk County and works as the Executive Director of U.S.A. Water Ski.

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