Bloomington teen sets sights on 2022 Olympics

By Ashley McNamee

February 11, 2014 Updated Feb 11, 2014 at 10:35 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill -- It's a sport filled with speed, high flying jumps and mind boggling spins.

"It's definitely not an easy sport, said Alex Wellman. "You need to talk yourself into things because no normal person would try to throw themselves into the air and try to land on one foot."

It has also become the 14-year-old Bloomington teen's passion.

"I tried every other sport in Bloomington and I never really liked any of them. I saw a learn to skate ad in the paper and so I tried ice skating and I fell in love with it," he said.

His coach, Madalyn Brook, says the sport seems to love him too.

"In three and a half years he has gone from no U.S. figure skating training to passing enough tests to to get through regional, Midwestern and national competitions," said Brook.

She says what sets Wellman apart is his ability to jump.

"If you watch him jump, he can bend and spring," said Brook. "Take a spring and compress it and then release it. It just flies and a lot of kids don't have that."

Wellman takes the ice at Bloomington's Pepsi Ice center for several hours a day, five days a week with off-ice training and dance classes evenings and weekends.

"My wife and I, we really try to enable his passion. Were more in the background helping him reach his goals," said Luke Wellman, Alex's father. "We do have check points and conversations where we ask, "What is your goal?' We don't care what it is but we ask him so we're on the same page."

To the eighth grader the goal is clear.

"Definitely to make it to nationals next year, and hopefully one day make it to the Olympics," said Wellman.

The 2022 Olympics are still 8 years away, but Wellman says he's willing to do what it takes to get there.

"I really want to do a quad, four rotations in the air," he said.

Although he's just beginning his career, he's already one of the best of the best.

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