Mid-South Olympian scores bronze medal in Vancouver

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

VANCOUVER (WMC-TV) - Speed skater Kimberly Derrick is savoring the thrill of Olympic victory.  

"It's definitely a dream come true and it's great to represent the United States of America in this fashion," Derrick said in an interview Thursday.

Kimberly's parents were in Vancouver when she helped her team qualify in the semifinals, an amazing accomplishment considering she recently switched to a new blade that no one has ever skated on before.  

"It's frustrating as a parent," laughed Kimberly's mother, Holly Derrick. "And it's been very frustrating for her as well, because she knows that her performance could have been so much better."

Those equipment concerns prompted Kimberly's coach to pull her from the final 3,000 meter relay.  Her team came in 4th.  But when South Korea was disqualified, USA moved into third place.

"That's short track for you right there," Kimberly said. "That's how a lot of medals are won. At every competition that we go to, there's always disqualifications, and that's part of the sport."

It's been an amazing journey from a roller rink in West Memphis where Kimberly sharpened her skills as an inline skater who then took to the ice, ultimately bringing home the bronze.  

"It is the most amazing experience," Holly said. "There's no way to describe seeing your child on the biggest stage that there is for her sport."

Despite all the excitement in Vancouver, Kimberly Derrick remembered the many Midsoutherners cheering her on at home.  

"Thank you for all the support and the letters and cards I've received the past two months," she said.

From Vancouver, Derrick will go to Salt Lake city to train for the World Championships.  She should be back in Memphis by the end of next month.

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