By the close of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Chad Hedrick had won a pair of medals (silver & bronze), to add to his gold, silver and bronze medals from the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, bringing his career total to five and complimenting the astonishing 50 World Championship medals he accumulated as an inline skater before ever setting foot on the ice. No other skater in history has amassed a comparable collection of podium appearances. Hedrick is considered the best all around skater ... ever.
Born and raised in Spring, Texas, Hedrick was in skates by two years old at the local roller skating rink his parents still own. At eight, he was National Champion. At 16, he was World Champion. During his inline skating career Hedrick won 93 national championship events.
Inspired by watching former inline skater turned ice skater Derek Parra win gold at the 2002 Olympics, Hedrick made the switch to the ice. In February 2004, after only one year of ice training, he became World Champion -- shocking everyone but himself. He went on to set six world records and was the first man in history to ever skate 10,000 meters (6.2 miles) in under 13 minutes. At the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, he captured the gold medal in the 5000 meter event then added silver in the grueling 10,000 meters and bronze in the 1500 meters.
Having won three medals in his debut Olympic performance one would assume Hedrick to be on top of the world but in the years that followed he struggled with finding the motivation to go on, with injuries, and with frequent coaching and management changes. All of this led to a dramatic drop in performance, leaving the life-long champion in unfamiliar territory.
In 2008 Hedrick married, and together he and his wife (Lynsey) committed to living their lives as messengers of God. Slowly Chad began to find new purpose in his athletic efforts, seeing his Olympic pursuits as a platform through which he could draw attention to his Christian beliefs. In March of 2009, he and Lynsey celebrated the birth of their first daughter, Hadley. Chad soon discovered the profound influence a young child has on a new father, wanting to be an example for his daughter. His passion for excellence returned as the bond with his new family, and faith, continued to grow.
At the 2010 Olympic Games he delivered a break-through performance in the 1000 meter event, a distance at which he had never before won a medal, to capture Olympic bronze. The brash Olympic rookie from 2006 had matured into a young man of family and faith, and he had found his way back to the Olympic podium. Days later, he added a fifth Olympic medal to his collection by anchoring the USA to a silver medal finish in the Team Pursuit event marking a dramatic end to a storied Olympic career.
Later that year Chad and Lynsey welcomed their second daughter, Harper. The Hedricks reside in Spring, TX.
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