Native son eying ’14 Winter Games
Winston-Salem native Kimani Griffin got an impressive overall seventh-place finish in the USA National Long Track Championships, which were held late last month near Salt Lake City, Utah.
The speedskater has lived and trained in Utah at the Olympic Ice Oval for the past three years. Griffin, one of a very few African Americans in the sport, placed sixth in the 500m and 1000m and eighth in the second 500m. His placements were notable being that he finished just behind current world and Olympic record-holders.
Griffin began speedskating on inline skates at age seven. Currently, he is a Category 1 Athlete, ranking him among the top 12 in the USA Long Track Ice Speedskating Program.
Kimani works on speed and conditioning in Utah with Derrick Speas, his longtime coach and a Winston-Salem resident. His ice coaches are Matt Kooreman and Tom Cushman of US Speedskating.
Kimani, 22, is focused on making the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia as a sprinter on the USA Long Track Sprint Team. He is also an accomplished classical guitarist, having performed at Carnegie Hall at age 17. He had a solo concert in Italy when he was 18.