August 13, 2010 by wcobserver
No signs of slowing at 55
By Susan McCarthy
Donald Green, of West Fork and a member of the NWA Rink Rats Speed Team, skated three races to earn third place in the grand veteran’s division during the annual competition that was held July 4-10. Green earned his winning score after skating in the 500 meter, 300 meter and 700 meter quad races.
Green said he placed third in the 500, but got a slow start in the 300 meter race.
“I got a slow start and was next to the last. I skated my guts out and got third, “said Green in a recent interview.
He went on to also place third in the 700 meter race and was awarded a bronze medal.
Green, 55, who owns Don’s Auto Body in West Fork, said he began skating after he turned 50. He said he began skating as a way to improve his physical fitness and ended up losing 50 pounds during his first year of skating. Green first started by skating two and a half hours every Saturday at Roller City in Springdale for exercise, and soon caught the eye of the NWA Rink Rat Speed Team’s coach, Sonny Wright, who asked him to join the team. A year later, in 2007, he began skating with the team which has skaters from as young as 8; Green is the oldest member of the team.
“Life will take a ride on you. It’s my chance to take a ride on life,” he said. “I want to have fun.”
Green attended the Speed Skating National Championships last year with four other team members and although he was the only one who didn’t come home with a medal, he was pleased to place ninth. To prepare for his return to the national championships this year, Green practiced four evenings a week and skated ‘for fun” on Saturdays.
“You have to dig within you…you rediscover yourself constantly. The more you dig, the more you know yourself,” he said.
After winning the bronze medal, Green said his family threw him a barbecue to celebrate. Asked what his now grown children think, he said, “They know me. I’m crazy. I’m wired from the factory. I can’t just sit around.”
Green says he plans to return to the national championships again next year and hopes to place even higher. He’ll have his work cut out for him; according to Green the silver medalist has won six years in a row and the gold medalist has held his title for 10 consecutive years.
“I’m really going to buckle down and work even harder…start running and bicycling. I want the gold. That’s all there is to it,” Green said.