Butte Speed Skater's Path to the Olympics - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Butte Speed Skater's Path to the Olympics

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BUTTE -

Butte's Dave Silk fell in love with speed skating at a very young age.

He loved the competition and had fun being on the ice, even here at the Butte High Altitude Skating Center.

By the age of 13, Dave decided he wanted to make a career out of the sport, with hard work, he did just that.

"The novelty of doing this sport, and the hard work, and the grind, really sets in and a lot of time the goal is far off," said Silk. "You have to take it day by day and just kind of put the work in even though at times you don't feel like you're making much progress."

Silk did make a lot of progress and worked his way onto the U.S. world team.

Soon after, he was competing in the Olympics, starting with the 1984 games in Sarajevo and then again in '88 in Calgary.

"It by far was probably the hardest thing I had ever attempted to do," said Silk. "As far as training for world championships and to be at that level, it was very rigorous year round, it was extremely hard."

Silk trained every day in his sport, constantly working out in the gym, and going over the small details in skating to get better.

Silk's extreme work ethic won't stop with two trips to the Olympics.

This weekend, Dave will be inducted into the U.S. Speed Skating Hall of Fame.

"It's kind of a statement that my peers thought I was a good skater," Silk said. "To me, that's what it means. You're fellow speed skaters and peers think that you're pretty good and deserve to be in a special club. Now that I've been out of the sport for a number of years, it really does mean quite a bit to me."

Silk says he worked extremely hard to be a top speed skater in the world.

He hopes the wrestlers that work just as hard will have their shot at the Olympics in the future.

Dave stopped competing in speed skating.

He has since become an emergency room doctor at St. James Healthcare in Butte.

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