Champaign's Kuck headed back to Olympics
KEARNS, Utah — Sharon Kuck made plans to travel to the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia long before her speedskating son attempted to qualify for his second Winter Games.
“Jonathan told me, ‘Mom, don’t make arrangements just to see me,’ ” Sharon said. “ ‘Make them because you enjoy going to the Olympics.’ ”
No worries, Mom. On Friday night, Jonathan Kuck punched his ticket to Sochi by winning the 5,000 meters at the U.S. Speedskating Trials. The Uni High product won in 6 minutes, 19.75 seconds, almost six seconds ahead of runner-up Emery Lehman. The Olympic team will be officially announced New Year’s Day.
“It’s been a long, long road between Vancouver and Sochi,” Sharon Kuck said. “It’s a sense of relief. We expected (Jonathan to qualify) because of his performance this season, but you never know.”
Kuck won silver in team pursuit at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
“It’s different,” Kuck said. “I guess it’s a lot more exciting to make your first Olympic team than the second one. But I’ve done it once before, so hopefully I’ll be better prepared this time.”