Almost exactly a year ago, speedskater Bridie Farrell rocked the sports world when she went public with the story of her sexual abuse by former teammate, mentor and four-time Olympian Andy Gabel.
That story – and allegations by other skaters – led to Gabel’s resignation from several skating governing bodies.
At that time, the former Olympic short-track hopeful had been training in Milwaukee to transition her career into long-track skating. As the Olympics neared, Farrell moved her training base to Utah, where the Olympic trials were held in December.
But despite a solid performance in those races, Farrell will watch the Sochi games from the United States.
Farrell, who trained vigorously for over a year, says her performance was, in part, hindered by an unexpected obstacle: unexpected gall bladder surgery only seven weeks before the trials.
Undaunted, Farrell is looking at the experience in an optimistic light. This was the first time she performed in long-track Olympic trials and she achieved both personal and seasonal bests in three out of four events.
“The best part about long-track is that you are truly racing against yourself,” she says. “So if I can post my best times and don’t make the team, then it’s really hard to be disappointed by that.”