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      Speed skaters look to Olympic futures

      It was a breathtaking repeat performance as Shani Davis won his second gold medal in the 1,000 meter long-track speed skating event, followed by teammate Chad Hendrick who took the bronze.

      In the 5,000 relay semi-finals, a surprise when Italy and France collided, leaving South Korea to take first in the heat, with the U.S. behind in second place.

      And miles away in the U.S.O.E.C. Residence Hall, those who trained, competed and lived with several of the U.S. Speedskaters, soaked in every moment of the Olympics.

      "You're watching and it's like, OK, I skate with those guys," said Wausau, Wisconsin native, Dan Fiorenza. "I skate with these guys. And now you're watching on T.V. It's ridiculous because I grew up with many of them."

      Fiorenza, Brett Perry, Chris Creveling, Erin Bartlett and Kelsey Schiel watched and weighed in as former U.S.O.E.C. skier, Travis Jayner, hit a block during the men's 1000 meter semi-finals.

      "Your focus can sometimes drift away when you're skating," Fiorenza said. "You get caught up in the moment of skating and wanting to go on, and sometimes you just lose focus and you can hit a block. You can make a dumb pass; things can happen."

      They know the pressure well, having competed with many of the Olympic athletes in past races. For now they're fans, but by the next Olympics in 2014, they hope to be competitors.

      "There's going to be a lot of new skaters, I think," said Perry. "And the speeds keep on getting faster every year. Olympic records have been broken."

      Big dreams--that will take a lot of work to pull off. But dreaming is what the Olympics is all about.