At his fourth annual campus address, Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell honored Emery Lehman, a junior majoring in civil engineering, who was named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team.
A clip was shown of Mr. Lehman winning the 5,000m race at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on January 2. President Lovell gave him a gift bag of Marquette gear to help him stay warm during the games in PyeongChang, South Korea in February.
When President Lovell asked if qualifying for the Olympics was as easy as Mr. Lehman made it look, he smiled and replied, “No, not at all!”
This is Mr. Lehman’s second Olympiad. In 2014, he was the youngest male U.S. athlete at Sochi, where at age 17 he finished 10th in the 10,000m and 16th in the 5,000m.
Mr. Lehman, who grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, started skating at a young age. “My mother encouraged my brother and me to try every sport,” Mr. Lehman said. “I wanted to play hockey but was told I had to get really good at skating before I could do that. I might have cried on my way to that first speed skating clinic.”
Mr. Lehman chose Marquette for its proximity to the Pettit National Ice Center and knew the Opus College of Engineering would be a good fit for him. He is interested in aviation engineering. He has had to balance school with training for the past four years and often took early morning classes so he could be at the rink in the afternoons.
“I quickly learned time management during my freshman year,” he said. “I think I turned on the TV in my dorm room twice that first year.”
Mr. Lehman has three more semesters to complete at Marquette. He will compete in the 5,000m on February 11 and in the Team Pursuit, which begins February 18, in PyeongChang. When he is not training in between events he plans on doing plenty of sight-seeing.