Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Patrick Meek is a future Olympian speedskater who's preparing for the national championships at the Utah Olympic Oval starting Dec. 27, 2012. He's also trying to use his rising profile to raise money for Charity:Water, a non-profit that works to bring drinking water to places in the world without it. He is photographed here at the Utah Olympic Oval, in Kearns, Utah Monday December 17, 2012.
Speedskater aims to give back while chasing Olympic dream
Speedskating » Olympic hopeful Meek joins effort to help developing nations.
First Published Dec 24 2012 12:52 pm • Last Updated Apr 08 2013 11:33 pm

Speedskater Patrick Meek hopes to take a few more steps toward the 2014 Sochi Olympics, when he takes the ice for the U.S. Long Track Speedskating Championships that start Thursday at the Utah Olympic Oval.

He also hopes to keep giving back.

At a glance

U.S. Speedskating Championships

At the Utah Olympic Oval, Kearns, Racing begins each day at 9 a.m.

Thursday »  Women’s 3,000 and men’s 5,000

Friday » Men’s and women’s 500

Saturday »  Men’s and women’s 1,000

Sunday »  Men’s and women’s 1,500

Monday »  Women’s 5,000 mass start, men’s 10,000 mass start

How to give

To donate to speedskater Patrick Meek, visit his charity page at http://mycharitywater.org/speedskating4water

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The aspiring Olympian recently joined forces with Charity: Water, a nonprofit charity that aspires to bring clean drinking water to people in developing nations around the world. The organization says 800 million people worldwide don’t have access to it — that’s about one in nine — and Meek has launched a fundraising campaign that he hopes can piggy-back on his ascending athletic fortunes.

"Being an athlete is kind of an inherently selfish endeavor," he said. "So I want to accomplish my own goals, and at the same time accomplish a greater good for some other people who obviously need it."

Meek is one of dozens of speedskaters — including two-time Olympian and world-record holder Shani Davis — who will compete this weekend for national titles and places on the U.S. roster for the second half of the World Cup season.

Davis figures to be one of the standouts, having clearly recovered from a recent groin injury.

The 30-year-old from Chicago finished first and second in two 1,000-meter races at a World Cup meet in China less than two weeks ago, and has won the last two Olympic titles at that distance. He’s also the dominant figure in the 1,500 and the world-record holder in both distances, and figures to compete in his third Olympics in Sochi.

Meek, meanwhile, is still aiming for his first Olympics, after learning to skate by pushing a 10-gallon bucket around an ice rink where his father worked as a club coach near Chicago. His grandfather had been a speedskater, too, and Meek recalled that "my dad put me on skates when he was fairly confident that I could walk."

All these years later, he’s on the cusp of realizing his dream.

Having spent eight years training in Utah, Meek is a strong bet to make the team for Sochi in the distance events — the 5,000 and 10,000 meters — and he’s providing with his new charity work a feel-good story for U.S. Speedskating, whose publicity lately has been almost all bad, centered around a fractious short-track scandal.


story continues below
story continues below

"He had such passion and enthusiasm for Charity: Water and wanting to get involved," said Kaitlyn Jankowski, a charity representative who works with Meek. "He’s done an amazing job."

Already an ambassador for the Right to Play charity founded by Norwegian speedskating great Johann Olav Koss, the 27-year-old Meek sought out Charity: Water and offered to help because he felt strongly about its cause. Meek is particularly attuned to geopolitical issues, having earned a political science degree from the University of Utah.

"I skate on millions of gallons of the cleanest water known to man," he said. "And to learn that so many people don’t have access to such a basic need … it was pretty astounding."

Meek hopes to help increase awareness about the charity, as well as raise money.

His immediate fundraising goal is $1,000, which Charity: Water says can bring clean drinking water to 50 people — all as Meek continues skating toward the Olympics while living at the Waldorf-Astoria in Park City and working there part-time as a concierge, as part of a sponsorship agreement.

"When you have that kind of opportunity … literally the least I can do is reach out to other people around the world who are less fortunate than I am," he said.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.