Ben Sullivan skates, practices patience


Photo courtesy of Potomac Speedskating Club

The Potomac Speedskating Club wins the national championship in 2019. They waited for another opportunity at the title for four years.

Freshman and former Speedskating National Champion Ben Sullivan has learned many invaluable lessons on the ice. The most important? Patience, as external factors have forced him to ponder matters far out of his control.

Sullivan first put on the skates to play hockey at a local rink in his hometown of Chicago. It wasn’t until he saw legendary speedskater and Chicago native, Shauni Davis, practicing that he decided to make the switch. Never one to go with the masses, the distinct skillset of the sport drew him in and he’s never looked back.

“It was a unique sport. That was what got me interested in it. Just seeing it made me feel inspired,” Sullivan said.

After moving to Maryland in 2017, Sullivan played a key part for The Potomac Speedskating Club in their victory of the National Club Championship at the US Speedskating National Short Track Championship in 2019. In addition, Sullivan was selected to the US Next Generation Program, firmly securing his status as one of the most promising young speedskaters in the nation.

Since then, Covid-19 and other factors have prevented Sullivan from competing in competitions and he’s been forced to learn patience as his speedskating excellence goes unseen. In that time, Sullivan has been training relentlessly and preparing to secure another championship in early April of this year.

“I’ve learned to work hard and be persistent even when I’m struggling with injury and not performing at my best. I have learned to keep working hard, be patient and trust the process,” Sullivan said, “Over the past few years I’ve beaten most U.S age-group records but never got them officially recorded because nationals were canceled because of Covid.”

Sullivan is set to return to the ice with a chip on his shoulder, chasing his ultimate goal of the Olympics.