Kelly Gunther’s Olympic dreams come true today.
The former Lorain resident makes her Olympics debut in the women’s 1,000-meter speedskating event at 9 this morning in Sochi, Russia.
Gunther, 26, took fourth at the U.S. Trials on Dec. 29 in Kearns, Utah, turning in a personal-record time of 1:16.43. She edged three-time Olympian Elli Ochowicz for the final spot on the team.
“This has been my dream since I was 6 years old — to go to the Olympics,” she said after making the team. “Just to think about what I have overcome to get here. This really means the world to me.”
Gunther, who lives in West Jordan, Utah, had to overcome heartbreak in 2010 when she thought she had made the Olympics team only to be dropped to alternate when another skater grabbed her spot after being allowed to skate again following a fall.
Things only got worse later that year when Gunther crashed during a competition, suffering a double-compound fracture just above her left ankle.
The severity of the injury made amputation a possibility, but Gunther fought through that and worked her way back to being among the best in the world at her sport.
Today she gets to show the world just what she can do.