Downey speed skater sets sights on Winter Olympics

DOWNEY - Strong, quiet, focused and ambitious: that is how you will find Downey High School senior Stacy Caprilli, who has been short track speedskating for only the last 3 1/2 years but is already competing at the national level in her age group - and doing well. As of the 2012-13 season, she is ranked fifth in the nation and first in California in the Junior B Girls division. She expects to skate the Junior A Girls in the unfolding 2013-14 season.

Before all this, Stacy had figure skated for nine years at Paramount Iceland. She watched the short track races on TV during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and decided she wanted to try it. She did and loved it.

Soon after, she was training regularly and became fast enough to train alongside some of the fastest skaters in the nation in B.E.S.T. Speedskating's program. B.E.S.T. Speedskating is a nonprofit sports organization based in Paramount.

She currently has her sights set on the Junior World Team trials next month with an ultimate goal of competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Stacy is no stranger to hard work when it comes to sports. She is a 2nd Dan Karate Black Belt and used to swim competitively.

Today she skates with B.E.S.T. Speedskating coaches Wilma Boomstra and Chris McLaughlin at Paramount Iceland.

About her rigorous on-ice and off-ice training, Stacy says, "You got to love everything you do about it, enjoy every minute of it."

Stacy added that she has a great rapport with her coaches and "loves practicing with an elite group of skaters."

Among her inspirations on the ice are Joey Lindsey, Jeff Simon, JR Celski, Kyle Uyehara (all trained at B.E.S.T.) and Apolo Ohno.

********** Published: Feb. 6, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 43