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Chapter 1 Excerpt Shows


February 1970
The last class on Saturday had finally ended and I was walking down the stairs when I met my father on the way up.
“ We have to hurry,” he said. “Erik got tickets for the speed skating championships!”

It was 2:15 and we had about a half hour before Erik Rinde and his son, Peder, would pick us up...

The two-day world championships were being held at Bislett Stadion in Oslo. The stadium was packed by the time we got in. It seemed like a massive crowd (In later years, I would learn Bislett’s capacity is around 20,000, small for an outdoor stadium by American standards...). All Peder and I could see were backs of people. The spectators didn’t sit. They stood. Since we arrived just before the start, we were in the back row. The only way Peder and I were going to see anything was for our fathers to hold us up or find a way to get closer.
We chose the latter.

We weaved our way through the crowd of legs down the bleachers to the front row and then made one last move. We jumped the railing and were on the ice. The temperature was already below zero Celsius and now we were standing on the ice. From where we had been to where we were now was unbelievable. Nobody else except coaches and officials had the view we had. From there, we watched skaters such as Dag Fornæs of Norway and Ard Schenk of the Netherlands, as well as the other racers. It was quite a thrill.

When we realized it was time to go, we weaved our way back up through the stands as people helped us along the way. Our fathers were waiting to grab us...

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