High Point Olympian Skates for Gold

7:01 PM, Feb 11, 2010   |    comments
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High Point, NC - A High Point Olympian is skating for gold.

Speed skater Heather Richardson is in Vancouver preparing for the Winter Olympics.  And her hometown is pulling for her in a big way.

WFMY News 2's Tracey McCain spoke with Richardson's father Jeff about his 20-year-old daughter.

"I believe she'll do real well," said Richardson.  The answer could just be a part of his modest nature, but in this case, Jeff Richardson's nerves were talking.

"I'm getting nervous for her," he said.  "So she won't be so nervous on the ice."

Richardson's daughter Heather is competing in her first Olympic games, four years earlier than she planned.  She is one of the fastest speed skaters in the world.

"I'm very excited. She's in the 500 meter, the 1,000 meter and the 1,500 meter."

It's hard to believe his Olympian daughter picked up speed skating on ice just two years ago.

"She didn't start out on ice. She started out on roller blades just skating at the skating rink."  And she's been non stop ever since.  "She got pretty fast!"

But raising an Olympian comes with an extra price.

"Most of the cost is to the skaters themselves. It gets pretty expensive when it comes to travel expenses, food costs and equipment."

The Olympic committee pays only a percentage.  "I think it's $1,500 a year which $1,500 ain't gonna get you very far." said Richardson.

All the rest falls squarely on the athlete or in this case Heather's parents.

"She was training last year and working a part time job. But as soon as she found out she was going to the olympics she had to quit her part time job. So we've been helping support her."

Heather's parents both work two jobs to keep her Olympic goals alive.  It's a small price to pay when your daughter is living her dream.

"We just want to see her go all the way."

Tickets to one Olympic event can cost up to $400.  Heather is speed skating in three events.  That's a lot of money but the Richardson's say they'll do what they have to support their daughter.

You can support Heather Richardson's Olympic dreams.  The employees at Ilderton Chrysler Dodge & Jeep on Main Street in High Point, where Jeff Richardson works are collecting money to send to the star athlete.  You can write a check to Heather's Fund or call the dealership for more information.  The number is 336-881-6162.










WFMY News 2

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