Zen and the Art of Speedskating

January 17, 2008

Blue Demon vs Wind

Filed under: from home — andrew @ 8:29 am

He must have followed us, snuck into a suitcase, or knew where we were going. The masked one wanted more from this sport.

El Blue Demon has had a taste of speedskating, and he accepts only the greatest challenges.

And across the ice, a challenger appears, skating like the wind…

No, actually, IT IS THE WIND. Normally, the wind is an invisible force, but this is a special wind. You can see the Opening Ceremonies for the 2002 Olympic Games on youtube here, that is where this wind is from. This was the last “gust” in that whole line of winds (they appear right at the beginning, 38 seconds into the video).

The wind catches up to El Blue Demon

Immediately they start racing, one man vs the wind. Every speedskater knows that fighting the wind is the greatest challenge outside of your own mind & body

(to be precise, according to Dutch research, ice speedskaters face roughly 80% wind resistance & 20% frictional forces. And as they go faster, the wind-resitance percentage cubes in relation to velocity)

They raced and raced, and finally ended up in hand-to-hand combat. A total contest of willpower vs windpower, muscle vs nature.

But this match was a draw, for wind cannot break the heart of a mentally strong athlete, and no athlete can ever truly overcome the constant pushback of wind.

The two exhausted warriors coasted next to each other, in the silent respect born from total effort.

Later, after the evening of racing (it was the Utah State winter games at the oval on this day) the public filled the ice, unaware of the titanic struggle that had taken place earlier.

Maybe that is for the best.


  1. I think you guys had too much time on your hands today. But it was a very entertaining story. Don’t let the coaches see it. Thanks

    Comment by Sue — January 17, 2008 @ 10:28 am

  2. Bro, I’m really starting to worry about you.

    Comment by David Love — January 17, 2008 @ 11:33 am

  3. An amusing tale told in true epic-poetic fashion…with the appeal of a picture book. Well rounded!

    Comment by mel — January 17, 2008 @ 11:41 am

  4. I guess I was just in a mood to do something eccentric, after all that straight news from nationals…

    actually, even weirder than this post, the refs informed me that there is a specific ISU rule against racing with masks, as el Blue Demon had signed up to race a 1500m.

    Evidently, someone did race a world-cup short track wearing a mask, it caused a sensation, and an ISU rule banning ALL MASKS immeadiately appeared…

    Comment by andrew — January 17, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

  5. ROFL

    Comment by Brian Boudreau — January 17, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

  6. HAHA, yes someone is bored…why does that not surprise me the ISU has such a rule…rules, rules….I hate rules…

    Comment by Carmella — January 17, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  7. You know if a little more material is added to a long track hood someone might have to seriously consider what “qualifies” as a mask! Regardless some good times at the oval yesterday! No pun intended…

    Comment by Rojo — January 17, 2008 @ 1:18 pm

  8. I love the sport of Speedskating, but damn it, all these stinking rules are really there to make it impossible for anyone to enjoy a night out. If you see parents and kids, even from the soccer field, come out to take pictures of El Blue Demon on skates, it tells me that a little fun is what is needed for this sport to attract some fans. Maybe we should have races where everyone is masked and the looser has to take off his/her mask… Until a champion is decided!! We need a good announcer to build up the drama with a good story!!

    Ice derby racing!! What a concept! :)

    Comment by El Blue Demon — January 17, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  9. kevlar full face masks in short track might not be a bad idea… Rusty got cut badly a couple years ago in the face…

    i had a similar near death experience behind Anthony B once, when he tripped and stuck his foot 2 inches from my face. Fortunately no injuries (Rusty wasn’t so lucky).

    Comment by FlyingAfrican — January 17, 2008 @ 3:13 pm

  10. That’s awesome :)

    After seeing that “wind” costume, I think it’s time to stop worrying about the aerodynamic effect (or lack thereof) of an ankle brace.

    May all your remaining weeks of ice be filled with as much laughter and joy as that found while creating this post! Thanks for the smiles… greetings from S’toon (where it’s -33oC, by the way),


    Comment by Meg — January 17, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

  11. You guys are having way too much fun.
    But oh well it sure beats jet lag. and oh by the way I could just see crash as the wind. Sorry we missed your birthday.

    Comment by Lori & Michael — January 17, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

  12. Cool battle, cool battle, wish I would have been there to cheer them on in their struggles.

    Comment by Peter Doucet — January 17, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  13. What a fun post! Thanks for the great pictures and the laugh :) And a rule about masks? That is funny, too!

    Comment by carla — January 17, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

  14. Make a video…catch them in action!

    Comment by Ian — January 17, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  15. Wow. I totally remember that “Wind” guy. I used to race against him all the time in Milwaukee before they built the Pettit Center.

    Sometimes I managed to beat him, but there were other times he kicked my ass so bad all I could do was tip my hat and call him my daddy.

    Comment by Fred — January 18, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

  16. “Wind” was at the oval here in Roseville Wednesday night. He was being a cold tough customer. Darn cold.

    Comment by mel — January 18, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

  17. early birds only:
    WC-p sprint Heerenveen was on the internet yesterday. Will probably be on today too. Start at 1.30 pm our time (your time minus 6, 7, 8?) ending at around 6 pm. Get up early and try this link:


    for a short review on saturday’s races go to:

    choose ’samenvatting”

    good luck/enjoy

    Comment by jules — January 20, 2008 @ 5:06 am

  18. http://www.nos.nl/nosstudiosport/artikelen/2008/1/20/index_av.html

    looking back at sundays sprintraces in Heerenveen

    go for ’samenvatting’ (mannen and vrouwen)

    keep pushing

    Comment by jules — January 21, 2008 @ 6:09 am

  19. You’ve been tagged by this frequent reader. Write 5 things about yourself that people are unlikely to know. ;-)

    Comment by Brian Boudreau — January 21, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

  20. I am everywhere. I like outdoor ovals much better than indoor. I am at some indoor ovals with fans pumping in circular motions when the hometown heroes skate. I give them the home rink advantage. I will be at Lake Placid for Age Group Nationals.

    Comment by The Wind — January 21, 2008 @ 10:49 pm

  21. so wind will you catch up with yourselves

    the answer my friend is blowing in the wind

    old time 20centurieth skater

    Comment by jules — January 22, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  22. Oh no! My first time racing outdoors [Lake Placid] and I already have an enemy. Oh well…you will just add to my encreament .

    (Encreament - the act of getting creamed, i.e. badly loosing a race)

    Comment by Ian — January 22, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  23. but remember Ian, when he is at your back, he is a friend!!!

    actually, in lake placid, I have more often wrestled with Mr Snow than Mr. Wind…

    Comment by andrew — January 22, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  24. Haaaaahaaaaahaaaaahaaaaa I will never be at your back…..i will swirl in your FACE the whole time!!! HAAAAHAAAAHAHAHAH HAAAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAA

    Comment by The Wind — January 23, 2008 @ 12:09 am

  25. You’re mean…

    Comment by Ian — January 23, 2008 @ 6:26 pm



    Comment by The Wind — January 24, 2008 @ 9:07 am

  27. […] Blue Demon has appeared at the Utah oval before. Especially here & […]

    Pingback by Zen and the Art of Speedskating » Some days… — December 17, 2009 @ 11:05 am

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