Lamb skates to 15th at Olympic gamesRiver Falls native Maria Lamb overcame an injury suffered during training to finish 15th in the Ladies’ 5,000-meter speed skating event last Wednesday at the Richmond Olympic Oval at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
River Falls native Maria Lamb overcame an injury suffered during training to finish 15th in the Ladies’ 5,000-meter speed skating event last Wednesday at the Richmond Olympic Oval at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Lamb finished with a time of 7 minutes, 25.15 seconds. Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic captured the gold medal with a time of 6:60.91. Stephanie Beckert of Germany finished 0.48 seconds behind to take silver with Clara Hughes of Canada 4.34 seconds behind Sablikova earning bronze.
After the race, Lamb said she was happy with her performance but thought she was capable of doing better.
“I started having my right leg kind of lock up on me the last three laps,” she said. “But it was a good, steady race until then.”
Lamb said about two months ago, after the Olympic trials, she would have hoped for a better time, but she cut her ankle in training a month ago and the wound became infected.
“They told me to go home and lay on the couch for a week and put me in a cast,” she said. “So I was off the ice for 10 days and I was on massive antibiotics until about a week ago. I could barely get through a training session. So, everything considered, I am really happy with how it went and everything I have gotten trough just to be here and be able to skate today.”
She said it was tough for her to have to cut her training short.
“It was really hard because, of course, I had this really great 5K at our Olympic trials and I was super pumped; it is my favorite distance, to come here. You know you want to be training and preparing, the all of a sudden you don’t know if you’ll be able to skate.”
Despite the setback, Lamb never doubted she would be able to race in Vancouver.
“You just have to stay positive and think that everything happens for a reason,” she said. “You can’t know how it is going to turn out, but I had to make myself believe that I would be able to be here; that somehow things would work out and I would be able to skate here.”
Lamb was the highest placing American female skater at the 2007 and 2009 World Allround Championships. She was the U.S. Junior Speed Skating Champion in 2003 and the U.S. Ladies Allround Champion in 2005. In 2006 and 2007, Lamb was the U.S. Single Distance Champion in the 5000 meter race and 3000 meter races, respectively.
This is Lamb’s second Olympic games. In Turin, Italy, in 2006, she placed 24th in the 1500 meter race and was a member of the three-person U.S. team in the team pursuit competition where she helped the U.S. to a fifth place finish.