On behalf of US Speedskating, I would like to extend a heartfelt welcome to Ashworth College as a new partner with US Speedskating. With high performance athletes now extending their competitive careers well into their late 20's and even early 30's and beyond, it is no longer reasonable to expect them to potentially sacrifice a life after skating, foregoing the advantages higher learning offers to many.
Speedskating athletes―as with most amateur sports―face growing financial demands and physical requirements for training and competing and travel that take them to so many places throughout the world. Unfortunately, these demands make it increasingly difficult for them to pursue the type of interests that contribute to a well-rounded personal and professional development. Financial limitations also cause our athletes to have to sometimes make a difficult choice between allocating resources to pursue their passion in sport, as opposed to educational and career interests.
That time for most has now come to an end. The opportunity to access a distance learning program through Ashworth College, either as an inroad to a particular interest and subsequent transfer to a bricks and mortar institution, or to pursue a complete degree in a particular field is an amazing new addition to what we offer our high performance athletes. This partnership with Ashworth will further be extended to USS staff and offer a special discount for USS members, such that all can take part in what our newest partner has to share with us.
Having spent many years in a variety of academic institutions across North America myself, I fully appreciate what a potential benefit this relationship can be for those who choose to take advantage of it. I encourage all athletes and members to fully explore the benefits Ashworth College has made available to us and am confident that this opportunity will help us create not only better athletes, but better, more well prepared people for the future challenges and opportunities life surely will present.
A native of Park Ridge, IL, Greenwald began his career as a long track speedskater in 1979. Quickly rising through the US Speedskating pipeline, Greenwald joined the U.S. National Team in 1983 in the sport of short track speedskating. He transitioned to long track in 1986, and by 1990 he was the U.S. National Champion in the 5000m and 10000m distances and represented the U.S. in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Winter Games. Following a successful competitive career, he relocated to Calgary in 1993 and began a successful 16-year tenure moving from coach to an eventual executive position with the Calgary Olympic Oval. He joined US Speedskating in July 2010.