(born April 17
in Spring, Texas
) is an American inline speed skater
and ice speed skater
Hedrick revolutionized the inline speed skating world with his unique technique, called the double push or DP, now the standard skating technique for élite skaters. During his career he won 93 national championships and 50 world championships, as well as having a brand of inline skating wheels named after him.
After winning his 50th World Championship, in Oostende, Belgium, in 2002, he switched to ice speed skating
after watching, on a television in a Las Vegas casino in 2002, fellow inline skater Derek Parra win a medal at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. In February 2004, a year and a half after he made his switch, Hedrick won the 2004 World Allround Speed Skating Championships
, knocking more than a point off the world record points, reducing it to 150.478. On March 12
, Hedrick won the gold medal in the 5,000 meters during the 2004 World Single Distance Championships
, which were held Seoul
, South Korea
. In 2005 he successfully defended his 5,000 m world title in Inzell
. At the 2005 World Allround Speed Skating Championships
he lost his title to Shani Davis
. Hedrick has set six world records
in speed skating
, but these have later been broken by others. He is currently 2nd in the unofficial world ranking, the Adelskalender
after having led the rankings from November 2005-7. Hedrick is also one of only four men to have broken the 13 minute barrier on the 10,000 m more than once (the others being Sven Kramer
, Lasse Sætre
and Carl Verheijen
) and was the first to achieve this feat.
2006 Winter Olympic Games
The Texan raised the stakes for the Winter Olympics
2006 in Turin
by proclaiming that he would equal Eric Heiden
's record of five gold medals. On February 11
Hedrick won the gold medal at the 5,000 m.
Hedrick caused controversy when he insisted Shani Davis, fellow American speed skater in the 1,000 m race, should have participated in the men's pursuit, stating, "I don't see what his logic is. We can't be beat if he skates. It's his decision. I'm not going to get in the middle of it. I would like him to be in the pursuit, but am I going to beg him? No. However, He failed to realize that Davis was not even eligible to race in the event, yet Hedrick continued to criticize Davis without ever apologizing for the personal attack.
It should be noted that five-time gold medalist and Olympic-team physician, Eric Heiden, has publicly written that Shani Davis made the right choice in not participating in the team pursuit and thereby not jeopardizing his chances at a gold medal in his best event, the 1,000 meter race.
Davis eventually won the gold medal in the 1000 m race, while Hedrick finished sixth. In the 1,500 meter race, Davis won the silver medal, while Hedrick won the bronze. Hedrick also added a silver medal in the 10,000 m to his Olympic tally, and with three medals, became only the third American ever to win three medals in a single Winter Olympics.
As of November 2006, journalists continue to insist that Davis "pulled out," "skipped," "opted out" of the team pursuit. "Shani did not pull out of the team pursuit because Shani never entered the team pursuit event," said Tom Cushman, who was the long-track coach in the '06 games, , adding: "Shani has been done an injustice."
Post Olympic career
On March 5, 2006, Hedrick won a 1500 m race in the Netherlands and captured the 2006 World Cup title in the event. Shani Davis finished second in the race and finished in fourth place overall in the World Cup rankings. Two weeks later, Hedrick participated in the World Allround Championships in Calgary, aiming to take back the title he lost to Davis in 2005. On the fourth and final distance, the 10,000 meter, Hedrick needed to beat Davis by 8.32 seconds, but made a crucial mistake midway through the race; he turned into the inner lane instead of his scheduled outer, and though he realised his mistake quickly, he was motioned off some laps later.
In the 2006-2007 season Hedrick has so far been unable to impress, finishing 14th in the World Allround Championships in Heerenveen and not setting an impressive result on any occasion. According to Hedrick this can be attributed to the break he took after the Olympics, and he fully intends to prepare himself better for the 2007-2008 season. He is currently in talks with the DSB Bank team and is seriously considering moving to Heerenveen for most of the year.
Off the ice, Hedrick has been called the "Paris Hilton
of speed skating" for his active nightlife. Hedrick was a judge at the 2006 Miss USA pageant, held on April 21, 2006 in Baltimore. On June 7, 2008, Chad Hedrick and Lynsey Elizabeth Adams were married in Houston, Texas.
Hedrick has so far skated six world records:
- allround samalog, 150.478 (Hamar, 8 February 2004; beaten by Shani Davis 9 March 2005)
- 3000 m, 3:39.02 (Calgary, 10 March 2005; beaten by Eskil Ervik 5 November 2005)
- 5000 m, 6:09.68 (Calgary, 13 November 2005; beaten by Sven Kramer 19 November 2005)
- 1500 m, 1:42.78 (Salt Lake City-Kearns, 18 November 2005; beaten by Shani Davis 19 March 2006)
- 10000 m, 12:55.11 (Salt Lake City-Kearns, 31 December 2005; beaten by Sven Kramer 19 March 2006)
- allround samalog, 148.799 (Calgary, 22 January 2006; beaten by Shani Davis 19 March 2006)
Records in roller sports (speed skating)
- National roller skating record in the 3,000 meters relay race (1993)
- National inline skating record in the 5,000 meters relay race (1998)
- National inline skating record in the 3,000 meters male-female relay race (1998)
- National inline skating record in the 1,500 meters race (1996)
- National outdoor track record in the 1,000 and 1,500 meters races (1999 and 1998 respectively)
- National outdoor track record in the 15,000 meters race (1998)
- National outdoor road record in the 500 and 1,000 meters races (2001)
- National outdoor road record in the 1,500 meters race (1998)
- National outdoor road record in the 10,000 meters race (2001)
- World outdoor road record in the 1,500 meters race (1999)
- World outdoor road record in the 10,000 meters race (1996)
- World outdoor road record in the 15,000 meters race (2000)
Chad Hedrick's parents own a roller skating rink called Champions Roller World in Spring, Texas
. They built it so that he could have a place to practice roller and inline skating.