Ryan Piviratto grew up playing hockey in Ann Arbor, now he’s chasing gold in a whole different sport

DETROIT – Most people are familiar with speed skating, skaters who race against the clock, trying to get the best time. But short track speed skating is different. It’s in the name.

The track is shorter, but you also race against each other over a series of laps. And things can get hairy sometimes.

“Anything can happen to anyone in the race,” said Ryan Piviratto.

Read: Metro Detroit residents prepare for the Winter Olympics

Piviratto played hockey for ten years. He took his first steps on the ice in Ann Arbor before his family moved out. He says it was in Connecticut when he switched sports, but he stayed on the ice.

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“I found a club in Connecticut where I started skating,” Piviratto said. “The rest is history.”

A year later, seeing positive results, Piviratto knew he had found his niche and immersed himself in it. He even traveled to South Korea to train for the 2018 Olympics.

Piviratto ended up traveling to Pyeongchang as a substitute. This time in Beijing, he qualified and will compete in the 1,000-meter, 1,500-meter, 500-meter and mixed relay, events he ranks in the top 35 in all distances.

“Coming back with guaranteed seats and going back to racing individually is a different feeling,” said Piviratto. “I can’t describe it well. I am really happy with my performance in the race. I can’t wait to race at the highest level.

Even though his family cannot travel to watch him due to the COVID rules, Piviratto plans to take something home to show them.

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“The medals would be great,” Piviratto said. “I think everyone is going there to win a medal.”

Piviratto has set up a GoFundMeo account to help him pay for his Olympic trip.

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