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Professional inline speedskating circuit coming to Pattison's West
Miguel Jose is hoping to bring the sport of inline speedskating into the mainstream.
The local businessman and avid speedskater recently created a new company called the National Speedskating Circuit (NSC), with the assistance of 26-time world inline champion, Joey Mantia. The NSC is now the only professional indoor inline speedskating organization in the world.
And it’s getting started right here in Federal Way.
“The NSC is an attempt to bring inline speedskating into the limelight,” Jose said. “This is the best of the best. This is strictly for pros. We get the 12 best guys in the world and bring them here to Federal Way every two months.”
The inaugural NSC event is slated for 8 p.m. at Federal Way’s Pattison’s West skating center on Jan. 23. It will be the first in a five-race season, which will run through the summer.
Federal Way’s Pattison’s West is somewhat of a Mecca in the inline skating community. The skating center opened in 1979 and the Pattison’s Team X-treme has produced several national champions. Current United States short track Olympians Apolo Ohno and JR Celski skated and trained at Pattison’s West before shifting their focus to the ice.
“Because inline speed skating doesn’t get the publicity that ice speed skating does, we lose many of our quality athletes to it,” Jose said. “The NSC is an attempt to bring inline speed skating into the limelight.”
Each of the NSC’s 12 athletes are either a sprinter or an endurance racer and will be vying for a $5,600 prize pool during every event. The 12-skater field consists of five sprinters and seven endurance athletes. The race distances include a 300-meter sprint, a 500 sprint, a 1000 endurance and a 1600 endurance event.
If a skater finishes in the top-three in points in either the sprint or endurance races, they move on to an 800-meter grand championship. At the end of each competition, someone will be crowned sprint champion, endurance champion and grand champion. All points lead to a final season winner in all three disciplines.
“The event follows more of a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) vibe,” Jose said. “Each skater will have intro music. There is also alcohol at the event. It’s a great time.”
According to the organization’s official Web site the NSC is “culture, it’s competition, it’s danger, it’s sex appeal, it’s excitement, it’s flat-out hot, nasty speed.”
The 12 handpicked athletes hail from all over the United States, including hometown skaters Jeremy Anderson and Eben Jackson.
“The level of competition in NSC is crazy,” said racer Jason Steely, who won an exhibition event held in November at Pattison’s West. “Even at indoor nationals do you rarely get the five fastest guys in one race. With NSC being handpicked, it's like a dream match. I can't wait to put on a show for everyone.”
Tickets for the Jan 23 NSC event are available online at www.pronsc.com for $18. Tickets can also be purchased at Pattison’s West the day of the event for $22.