From medals to Marquette-the life of Olympian Brian Hansen
Brian Hansen is no ordinary Marquette student. At first glance, he may seem like just another face in the crowd, just another person going to the Marquette hockey games, and just another student taking notes in class, but in reality, he juggles his daily life with his life as an Olympic speed skater.
Hansen won a silver medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games in team pursuit, which is a form of speed skating where teams of three skaters make a total of eight laps around a track and race against another team of three at the same time. Hansen took a year off between high school and college in order to train, and he balanced his freshman year with competitive speed skating.
Training is intense, and Hansen spends almost ten hours a day at the Pettit National Ice Center training, which is difficult for him.
For Hansen, being involved in the Marquette community means supporting the presence of other on-ice sports at Marquette, such as hockey and figure skating.
“I go to as many games as I can,” said Hansen. “I spend a lot of time as an athlete, but I love being in the stands too.”
Hansen spends most of his days on a strict training schedule, and has to commute to Milwaukee on a daily basis because the Pettit is one of two ice arenas in the United States with a long track ice rink, so speed skaters can only train in Milwaukee or Salt Lake City.
“[My team] didn’t want to go to Salt Lake City,” said Hansen. “We are really the only competitive speed skaters in Milwaukee right now, though, with the exception of one or two others. Most go to Salt Lake City, but we wanted to stay closer to home, and we like Milwaukee.”
Despite wanting to stay in Milwaukee, Hansen ended up spending almost four weeks in Salt Lake City last year in order to attend smaller competitions in preparation for the World Speed Skating Championships.
“I had to go [to Salt Lake] a lot last year, yeah, but I’ve always come back to Milwaukee, and I’ll always come back to Marquette.”