Briana Brings Home the Hardware from World Championships
By: Mileah K Shore
Celebration High School’s Briana Kramer won two silver medals at the Federation de International Roller Sports Inline Speed Skating World Championships held in Gijon Spain in early September.
This is roller skating’s “big show” for outdoor skating. There were 59 countries in attendance sporting the best and fastest skaters in the world. The competition lasts for 9 days and is the most draining experience both emotionally and physically for skaters and spectators alike. With falls, disqualifications, declassifications and sheer heartache or joy, two of Kissimmee’s skaters skated their hearts out in an effort to be on the podium among the best in the world.
Briana and her partner Sophie Webb, a junior at Osceola High School this year, made the trip with the remaining 22 members of Team USA. The two girls specialize in long distance racing. This was Briana’s fourth and final trip as a Junior World Team member. Briana will move on next year to the Senior World Team level where she hopes to make that team as well to claim more hardware for the United States. It was Sophie’s first trip. Sophie has one more turn at the junior level before moving on to claim her spot on the Senior Team.
Briana and Sophie were chosen to skate all of the long distance races for the USA. In all Briana was chosen by the coaching staff to skate 7 races while Sophie skated 5.
Briana earned one of her silver medals in the 15,000 meter elimination race and was “a wheel” away from gold against Germany. Italy took home the bronze medal in that race. The other silver was in the 3 lady relay that was skated with Alexandria Harris from Harrisonburg, Va. and Mariah Richardson from Greensboro, NC. This race was won by Korea with Germany taking home the bronze medal.
When asked how this year’s World Championships was in comparison to previous years, Briana replied “It was more challenging because I have a couple of injuries that need constant attention, so I am grateful for the success that I have had and the opportunity to represent the United States.” During the past four years “Bri” has eared 7 World medals, 1 gold, 2 silver, and 4 bronze.
Sophie hopes to follow in Bri’s footsteps by training hard and working together with Briana and her coaches. There are not many skaters in the world who can say that they were good enough to skate 5 races the first time they went to worlds. Sophie’s first world’s showing would place her in the top ten in the 10,000 meter points race and in the top 20 in the other races.
The United States of America Roller Sports is the governing body for inline speed skating and qualifies skaters every year at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado to make the trip to the World Championships. The competition is held in a different country every year and this year the International Olympic Committee made an appearance to evaluate the sport to consider inclusion into the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Briana and Sophie may not wait that long. They both share a love for the ice but not as much as the road and track. Briana is quoted as saying “My heart is with inline racing, but if I want Olympic medals I may have to go to ice.” It won’t be until next year when the sport of inline speed skating learns whether or not it will be included in the Olympic Games.
Until then Briana will continue to do well in her studies at Celebration High School where she is a senior and she will also continue to train and compete both on ice and inline while working toward more World Championship medals.