August 20, 2006
Rotary Article 1242
Group Study Exchange Team from India to Highlight Rotary on Tuesday
"The Izykowski Olympic Story" May Continue With Morgan: Stay Tuned
August 20, 2006
Aug. 29: Dr. Roger Pajak, National Counterintelligence Agency, "Israel and Hezbollah."
By: Dave Rogers
Sept. 5: Open
Sept. 12: Brian McCarty and Dennis Ouillette, Mid-Michigan Medical Center, "Gamma Knife" brain surgery.
LAST WEEK: Alan Izykowski, father of Olympic bronze medal winner speed skater Alex Izykowski, last Tuesday brought Rotarians up to date on the exploits of his talented children.
Not only is Alex in position to become the top U.S. speed skater with the expected retirement of Apolo Ohno, but daughter Morgan, 15, is showing promise that may lead to honors.
How did the Izykowski family get into speed skating?
"We were looking for something to do in the winter," said Alan, now president of the Bay City Speed skating Club. "We didn't even know where the ice arena was."
In those days, 11 years ago, there was no ice arena in Bay County so the Izykowski family had to go to Midland.
Two seasons ago Morgan won a national championship and Alex's Olympic short track relay medal in Torino, Italy last winter came amid scads of publicity and television coverage worldwide.
"Lots of things can change," said Alan, noting that Morgan suffered an arm fracture in a crash and Alex is recovering from leg injuries from a fall from a bicycle.
Hopefully the pair of Bay City speed skaters will be ready for the first of a series of World Cup competitions in November in Midland.
Alan displayed one of the torches that lit the Olympic flame at Torino, an exotic looking device he acquired before leaving the Olympic venue.
He gave credit to Dick Somalski, local nurseryman, for leading the drive to build the Bay County Civic Arena. "Miracles happen in that building every day." His hat also was tipped to the community for raising funds to send the Izykowski family to Torino. "We had never seen Alex compete internationally before. It truly did take a village," he commented.###
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