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Whiz Kid: Champion Speedskater Sarah Chen

Each week, San Marino Patch highlights a local kid, youth group, teen or sports team that wows us with their accomplishments. See who we chose this week and suggest a kid or group of kids you know for Whiz Kid of the Week.

This week's Whiz Kid is quite the speedster. Not only does she balance between her athletics and her academics, she competes on an international scale as a member of the US Short Track Speedskating World Cup team. The San Marino native has two younger siblings who are following in her skates.

Whiz Kid's Name: Sarah Chen

Whiz Kid's Age: 17 years old

Whiz Kid's School: The Waterford School

Whiz Kid's Accomplishment:

Sarah competes as a member of the US Short Track Speedskating team. She won the 2012 US Junior Short Track National Championship title, age range 14-19. Sarah also competed in the World Junior Short Track Speedskating Championships in Melbourne, Australia in February of 2012 as the four-women US delegation anchor. At the 2011 ISU World Cup Short Track Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sarah ranked 9th in the world in the 1000 meter event.

Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness:

To anyone who's ever tried to ice skate before, they know that it's no easy feat.  Trying to stand up, let alone staying balanced, is an accomplishment in and of itself. Now take that task and speed it up 10 times and you've got what Sarah does on a daily basis for six to seven hours per day before and after school.

Having moved to Utah last year to train with the US National Sport Track Team in order to pursue her dreams of competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sarah is already a five-time national champion in speedskating and has set 15 U.S. National Speedskating records and one North American Continental Short Track record. Not bad for being the youngest female skater on the US Speedskating National Team.

Athletic accomplishments and prowess aside, what makes Sarah such an amazing young woman is her dedication to excel and her willingness to make tough decisions in pursuit of her dream. Even though she grew up in Southern California and maintains close relationships with all her friends back home, the decision of leaving everything familiar behind to pursue her goal was not a tough choice. Her perseverance and focus are truly admirable qualities and it is refreshing to see this young woman chase after the thing that she truly loves.

Bonus Questions:

What was the last book you read for pleasure?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

If you had the power to change one thing in the world to make it a better place, what would it be?

"I would create more recreational facilities around the country."

Do you have any siblings and what are they doing now?

Jacqueline, 9th Grade, Junior World Speedskating Team 2012

Matthew, 7th Grade, National Level Short Track and Long Track Speedskater

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