Desire to be the best drives Michael

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 16/02/2013
Peter Michael
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
BACK ON TRACK: New Zealand's double world champion speed skater Peter Michael would love a chance at an Olympic gold medal to cement himself as the best speed skater this country has produced.

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New Zealand's double world champion speed skater Peter Michael would love a chance at an Olympic gold medal to cement himself as the best speed skater this country has produced.

The 23-year-old from Palmerston North is in Timaru for the National Bank Track Championships which start today

Now based in Columbia, he defended his 15km elimination race world title in Italy last year and won the 1km final as well.

With wrestling likely to be axed from the 2020 Olympic Games, skating is considered one of the possible replacements.

"I'd definitely be interested," Michael said. "I think I'd still be in good nick at that time, especially for the distances I do."

Michael said he was keen to get into racing again after having a break after returning from Italy.

"January was my first month of solid training. It was the first time I've taken a serious break.

"It's my first race back and it's in New Zealand which always alters things and makes you more nervous just because of the people racing."

Michael said, after numerous world championship wins, the words of wisdom from former world champion, French skater Pascal Briand, keep him motivated.

"He told me ‘if you can win back-to-back titles, you will earn a lot more respect from people because when you win one event, the hardest thing is to back it up . . . everyone on the start line knows you're the best'."

Michael said he wanted to become the best skater New Zealand had produced, better even than his childhood heroes Kalon and Shane Dobbin.

"I grew up in the same town as Kalon and Shane . . . it always fuelled the fire to win just as much if not more than them."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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