Mountaineer sports hall of fame:
The next inductee into The Mountaineer’s sports hall of fame is long track speed skater Brock Miron.
Brock Miron was born in Cornwall, Ont. He began his speed skating career in Rocky Mountain House at age 15. He was a member of Canada’s national long track team for eight years and competed in the 500 metre at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino. Miron won the Canadian sprint championships in 2003 and took the silver medal in 2004 and 2005. He also represented Canada at the 2005 and 2007 world single distances championships and the world sprint championships in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Miron’s last competitive season was in 2009-10.
After an injury forced Miron into an early retirement, he turned his efforts to training and coaching other high-performance athletes. He completed his Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, and currently lives in Kelowna, B.C.
The following is an excerpt from a letter to the Rocky Mountain House Speed Skating Club in 2019:
My speed skating story has its beginning in Rocky at the twin arenas, not having speed skates on my feet, but a pair of hockey skates. I was beginning to lose interest in playing hockey, and I was standing on the bench in the old arena waiting for the speed skating session to end so we could begin our hockey practice. I was 15 years old. As a late developer, I was 5’2” and 120 lbs. and constantly being told that I wasn’t big enough to make it to the higher levels in hockey. I hadn’t seen speed skating before, in person or even on TV. I stood there fascinated, watching all the different sized kids zip around the ice going way faster than any of us hockey players could go on our hockey skates! That night I went home and told my Dad that I was done playing hockey, and I wanted to try speed skating.
My dad was disappointed at first, not knowing anything about speed skating, but fully supported my decision, and encouraged me to find out as much about the sport as I could. I knew next to nothing about it. I didn’t even know that the top skaters in the world compete in the Olympic Games! When I found that out, I was certain that this was what I wanted to do … it sounded amazing. I hadn’t even tried on a pair of speed skates yet.
I’ll never forget my very first speed skating practice. I showed up in the dressing room before practice, and Phyllis Loewen introduced herself to me as the coach. She was one of the very best coaches I’ve ever had ... and I’ve had a lot of coaches over the years! That night she gave me a pair of brand new Pass Short Track boots with offset blades, which at the time, the club only had a couple of. I thought they were the coolest skates ever, and had no idea how I was going to stand up on them let alone skate around at high speed! Within 10 minutes of touching the ice, finding the balance points, and figuring out how to cross over with an extra inch of blade sticking out past the toe, I was hooked! This was what I should have been doing all along. To put it simply, it felt right.
Over my three seasons with the Rocky Speed Skating Club, I qualified for two National Short Track Championships, two Canadian Long Track Championships and I qualified for the Alberta Provincial Team. Small clubs can produce great skaters! I was fortunate to have a wonderful coach at the time in Phyllis which definitely helped! Heck, the Rocky Speed Skating Club produced not one Olympian but two! I developed many new friends in Rocky with the speed skating club. One of the truly wonderful things about speed skating is how great and inclusive the community is. Almost all of my strongest friendships have come from the speed skating community. The friendships and acquaintances that I gathered around myself over my years of speed skating have given me so much, and have been so valuable to me over the years.
The best experience I had speed skating was of course the one that I dreamed of from that very first practice with the Rocky Mountain House Speed Skating Club. The Olympic Games are simply incredible. Everything about it is big, crazy and fun! My keepsakes, photos, and memories from those three weeks around the Games will forever be among the greatest highlights of my life. All of it starting that day I tied up my first pair of speed skates in Rocky.