Road to the Olympics: Speed Skater Jessica Kooreman

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The 2018 Winter Olympics will be here before we know it. 

One American who's going for the gold is a speed skater who got into the sport in an unconventional way.

Michigan native, Jessica Kooreman, grew up an inline speed skater. A summer sport on wheels. A sport that does not participate in the Olympics.

Inspired by her dream of one day representing Team USA, a change had to be made. 

"My ultimate goal was to become an Olympian," Kooreman explains. "The closest thing to my sport was switching to the ice. I decided to make the switch to make my dream of becoming an Olympian a reality."

Short track speed skating is often referred to as NASCAR on ice. The skaters attain maximum speeds of 37 miles per hour, strategically making sharp turns.

Kooreman made her Olympic debut in 2014 in Sochi and placed 4th. 

"I'm proud of it, but it leaves a little bit of a fire in me to see if I can reach my potential of becoming a medalist...a gold medalist for that matter," she continues.

The one-time Olympian trains for eight hours a day in Salt Lake City. She admits moving to Utah and leaving her family behind was very tough but a necessary step in her quest to become an Olympic medalist.

"My parents always said when I did make the move...we're going to make it for the right reasons. I'm not here for anything less than trying to be my best. I'm reminded day in and day out why I'm here and why I made that sacrifice," she adds.

In February, Kooreman will lace up her skates for the second time in a Team USA uniform.

The world will be watching.

Jessica Kooreman Web Extra:

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