JRNM 151 Student
Americans had been anxiously watching the Winter Olympics with hope and pride, waiting to see how the greatest athletes in the world would compete in Pyeong Chang County, South Korea.
Lorain County Community College has its own past Olympics athlete in their midst. Katie Marquard, the current Athletic Director, competed in speed skating in past Olympic games.
Marquard thought that the U.S. Olympics team did well this year, but improvements can always be made. She was disappointed with the placing of the U.S. speed skating but “with speed skating, tenths of a second count.” She is just excited that these athletes got this experience.
Marquard started skating at the age of 5 and was the youngest of seven children. She grew up in Minnesota and skated as a child with all of her siblings. She also went to Olympics Training Camps in Colorado Springs.
Her family was always very involved and supportive. Marquard said “my parents are my biggest inspiration. They all of who turned out good and have great families.” She said she wants to “follow in their footsteps”
When she qualified for the Olympics it was like a reward for the entire family. A couple of her sisters were very close to making the team as well. However, she was the only one who ended up making the team.
She qualified for the 1984 Winter Olympics games in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia. In these Olympics games, she was not expecting a medal. She was ready to experience the Olympics and do her best.
Marquard said that there were armed guards everywhere and the city was so poor that they were actually relocating homeless people before the games and cleaning up the streets. The building she skated in has now been destroying and demolished because of the civil wars.
She then continued to skate. Back when she was competing, there was no ice early enough in the U.S. She would skate during college in the spring semester and competed in track and cross country at Morehead State University, and then in the fall she would travel to Europe to skate.
It took her eight years to finish college because of her dedication to her skating. She ended up graduating from Minnesota state.
She then qualified for the Olympics again. In 1988 the Winter Olympics games were held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
In 1988, the Winter Olympics were vastly different from her first. Marquard stayed in new college dorms that were very nice. They could walk indoors from the dorms to the oval. In these Olympics, unlike the first, she knew what to expect and hoped to place good enough for a medal.
In the 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympics Marquard competed in the 500 Meters and the 1,000 Meters. Her best finish was in 1988 with eighth place.
Marquard loves to travel. She has been to 18 countries, her favorite of which was Davos, Switzerland. She had some amazing experiences. Davos was a little ski town with a beautiful skating rink surrounded by mountains.
After her Olympics days, she continued to have a passion for skating and for sports in general. She Worked as the executive director of the U. S. Speed skating starting at the mere age of 25 and worked there for 16 years.
She met her husband, Dennis Marquard, who grew up in Westlake, Ohio, while working as the executive director. They moved back to Westlake and got married.
They had previously been living in Salt Lake City, Utah, until she was able to convince U.S. Speed skating to move its headquarters to Westlake. In 2002, when she was executive director, they won 12 medals.
Before beginning as athletic director at Lorain County Community College, Marquard worked for four years with the Catholic Youth Organization.
When asked if her faith changes the way that she lives, she said,” I hope so! I try to live and follow good morals and ethics. In college, the girls would always pray together before the race. I believe that God has a plan in how things turn out.”
As she continues to live her life she jumps and shows her dogs and works to stay in shape by running. She said that in ten years she would like to be retired and traveling the world once again.