Road to Sochi: Speed skater Paul Dyrud aims for Olympics

BLAINE, Minn. -- After missing making the 2010 Olympic speed skating team by mere seconds, Plymouth's Paul Dyrud spent the better part of the next two years thinking about what could have been and coming to terms with what he thought was the end of his skating career.

"It was such a strong team that, I knew I had done everything that I could," recalls Dyrud.

So he traded in his skates for a stop watch. Becoming a coach with his former coach Andrey Zhulkov at the Midway skating club.

"It's flattering to be somewhat of a role model," says Dyrud. "And ask questions about where they should go do college or their skating."

Still something was missing. Although his life outside of skating had never been more complete with his wife Abby and their two children, it was Abby who noticed something was missing.

"I think my wife could tell that it was eating away at me a bit," says Paul.

"You could just see it in him, he wasn't over it," says Abby Dyrud. "There was still a burning desire and he had a huge passion for skating."

"If she wouldn't have brought it up," recalls Paul. "She brought it up and that got the wheels turning."

And in the beginning of 2012 Dyrud began training again, this time with the kids he'd been coaching with as training partners and with an even stronger intensity than before.

Getting a break might be the hardest part of Dyrud's training. While many Olympic hopefuls train away from their families in Salt Lake City or Milwaukee, Paul is as serious about being a dad as he is about being a speed skater. So prefers the comfy confines of his own home even if the needed rest is hard to come by

"Yes it's difficult," says Paul. "Every parent knows you can't just go home and plop on the couch and that's really a big part of being an athlete. You train hard and you rest hard. So at times that component is missing but it's also nice to be surrounded by your family that can be a huge positive.


," says Paul's coach Andrey Zhulkov.

Dyrud's best time is in the 5000 meters, the longest of the distances. Fitting since he's taken quite the long route to get to this point. But with the journey in his rear view mirror Paul and his huge cast of supporters are very invested in his final turn

"I think he'll feel like he put it all out there and there is nothing more to give," says Abby Dyrud. "So I am hoping that he'll be content."

"I'll know that I put everything into it," says Paul. "Just to be able to do this again I am so incredibly grateful to my wife and the people that have supported me and rallied around me."

And around a guy who is attempting to rally his career for one last shot at a dream.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment