Skaters feel need for speed in Jefferson City

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JEFFERSON CITY - For those who watch the winter Olympics and think "I could do that", there is an opportunity to do it here in mid-Missouri.

Jefferson City Speed Skating Club offers the chance to learn one of the Winter Games' most popular events - short track speed skating.

The club, which meets on Sundays and Tuesdays at Washington Park Ice Arena, has been around for decades. It is set on building the next generation of skaters.

Carly Wilson, a Jefferson City native who nearly made the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, learned to skate at Washington Park Ice Arena. Now, she's a motivation to the children who are seeking to learn. 

"Carly Wilson was one of the best skaters I've ever seen, and she's my motivation," said 11-year-old Mylee Hawkins. Hawkins. "She's amazing. I want to be just like her." 

Kirk Bonnot, who is one of the leaders of the group, said speed skating is actually not as difficult to learn as some people might think.

"Speed skates are really long, so you don't really tip forward or back too much, it's actually easier to learn," he said.

Bonnot said he enjoys the individual aspect of the sport. 

"You want to win the race, but you are always trying to better yourself too," he said.

The club meets Sunday nights from 4:30-5:30, and Tuesday nights from 4:45-5:45. It is open to new members.