Zen 10 Questions: Kip Carpenter

I have gotten to know quite a few of the world class speedskaters who train at the Utah Olympic oval, but probably none as well as I have gotten to know Kip Carpenter. This is because we share intense interests outside of skating, Kip is a very talented digital graphic artist & flash developer, and his interests dovetail with my professional web design experience.

Kip in an interesting fellow, and if some of my questions have more of a psychological tint to them than some of my other Zen 10 interviews, it is because of our friendship. I greatly enjoy his company, and I feel like I will still know Kip for years after we have both recovered from our membership in the skating cult (that is, if we ever recover!).

First of all, Kip, thanks for appearing on my blog! I emailed these questions to Kip, and he has called in his answers from Holland, a few days after the Olympics finished, where he was racing in the World Cup Final.

Technical note, I published individual answers here in quicktime format after each question. If you can't play the answers after each question (some windows folks) let me know!

1. The last several years of your life have been a huge rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, are you getting off the rollercoaster?

2. For those of us watching in TV land, we love looking at the medal ceremony, and seeing the athletes on the stand. What was the most powerful emotion that you experienced, standing on the podium in 2002 with that bronze medal around your neck?

3. What is the vibe among your fellow US national team members, now that the games are over for most of them. Is it different for those who are retiring?

4. Speedskating involves grueling physical training, as well as considerable emotional & psychological challenges. You have done short and long track your whole life. What do you find is the hardest thing about this sport?

5. What is the best thing about this sport? Why did you personally pour so much of yourself into it?

6. 4 years ago, you won the bronze medal in the 2002 games, what sticks in your mind about your 2002 Olympic experience?

(questions 7 & 8 don't really exist, don't worry)

9. The 2006 Olympics did not go how you wanted, a slip on the start line and your medal chances were pretty much over. I saw that look on your face just after the finish of your first 500. Do you want to open the door on what was going on in your heart at that moment?

10. No athlete steps to the starting line alone, we all have friends and family who help us. This is your chance to thank those who have always been with you every step of the way.


Zen Haiku Speed Round

1. What kind of scooter do you zip around Salt Lake on?

2. Do you ever experience sleepless nights before very important races?

3. Books next to your bedside table/in your backpack right now

4. What kind of computer do you work on?

5. What Movie could you watch over and over?

6. If you could wave a magic wand, and be a professional athlete in another sport, or be a top dog in any profession, what one would it be?

7. What magazines do you always reach for when walking past a Barnes & Noble endless magazine rack.

8. When you and Inge want to go out for a romantic “date” what do you do?

(there is no question9… it disappeared into digital oblivion)

10. What are the small things that you cherish in your life right now?

Thanks Kip for your time, all of us here in Blogland wish you good luck in the future! Kip also left a note to me, at the end of the interview, that I really appreciate. Thanks buddy!

P.S. Many top skaters, and my sponsor & blade-guru John Dimon, consider Kip one of the finest blade technicians in the world. When Kip taught me how to really pay attention to my blades, it improved my skating dramatically. Kip and I have recently joked about working together on a book this summer. It would be designed to pass on his knowledge about sharpening, blade rockering & bending to others. I have a small question for the skating readers of this blog, if we did this book, would you buy it? Do you think it would sell? What would be a fair price for a well-illustrated and detailed tome of Kip's knowledge? (I am guessing it might be 50+ pages) Also any great ideas on the channels we should sell it through would be greatly appreciated, I have some ideas already, but you in the blogosphere might have better ones. Maybe I can convince US speedskating to pre-purchase a number of these for every coach & club officer in the USA.


if you wish to comment on this post, or read comments others have made, click here.