Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Maria Lamb shares a laugh with Petra Acker (left) after receiving her flowers for first place in the Ladies 5000 meter U.S. Olympic time trials, at the Utah Olympic Oval Wednesday, January 1, 2014.
Speedskating: Maria Lamb overcomes stint in ER to earn trip to Sochi
Speedskating » After a brief hospitalization, she qualifies in 2 events.
First Published Jan 01 2014 05:51 pm • Last Updated Jan 01 2014 11:17 pm

Kearns • Reclined in a hospital room bed 48 hours prior to making her third Olympic long-track speedskating squad, Maria Lamb wondered how she’d find her way back to the ice. A violent storm of migraine headaches overcame the 27-year-old Park City resident in the middle of the U.S. long-track Olympic qualifiers.

Lamb couldn’t keep any chow down. She became severely dehydrated and decided she needed to take a trip to the emergency room, where she eventually spent five hours being treated.

At a glance

Olympic trials schedule

O Utah Olympic Oval

Short-track speedskating

Thursday »  Men’s and women’s time trials — 1:30 p.m.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"Have to say when you’re laying there and you’re like, ‘OK, I’m on oxygen, I have an IV in my arm, I’m pumped full of painkillers … and I have to make the Olympic team in two days?’ It’s a little bit scary," Lamb explained. "I just tried to focus on what I could do to get better."

She got better. Lamb skated in Tuesday’s women’s 1,500-meter event and went again in her forte, the 5,000 meters, Wednesday afternoon running on just two hours of sleep.

Forty-eight hours following her five-hour stay in the emergency room, Lamb punched her ticket to Sochi, earning the final spot on the women’s long-track speedskating team heading to Russia for the 2014 Games in early February. She won the 5K, her best event.

"I know making the Olympic team is always hard — I’ve been around long enough to know that, but this is my best race," Lamb said.

After competing in the women’s 1,500 meters in Torino in 2006 and in the 5,000 in Vancouver, Lamb has another shot to put down her best skate on the world’s biggest stage. Two weeks ago, she knew she controlled her destiny racing in the second-to-last heat with the spot hanging in the balance, but didn’t expect it to be nearly the dramatic week it turned out to be.

"Life conspired against me for a while there and worried me a little bit, and I just tried to focus on what I could control and what I could do and go and skate the best I possibly could and know I might have to pull more out of myself than I knew I had, but that’s what the 5K is about — it’s about heart and guts more than any other race," Lamb said.

Seventeen-year-old Emery Lehman again showed his heart and guts. The Oak Park, Ill., native and high school senior won the 10,000-meter men’s qualifier Wednesday, four days after finishing second in the 5,000-meter race.

The youngster will be competing for medals in both races in Sochi.

story continues below
story continues below

And despite returning back to everyday high school life and classes such as graphic design and principles of engineering in five days, Lehman’s 10,000-meter effort was dramatic. He pushed hard the final two laps to finish the arduous race in 13 minutes and 22 seconds, seven seconds faster than his previous personal best.

"Never quite died, I guess," Lehman said, smiling. "It turned out OK."


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
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.