They don't have ice to train on, and they've never put on an ice skate. But two Kenyan inline speedskaters have a dream to compete in the 2014 Olympic Short-Track Speedskating events, with help from the United States Olympic Education Center.
To pursue an Olympic medal in Short-Track Speedskating, a skater needs speed, heart and impeccable technique.
Kenyan inline speedskaters, Newton and Kevin Marikio think they have two of those three traits, but their technique will need some work.
"I believe that with due time, we are going to maneuver it," said Kevin, "just getting down low, feeling the ice. Because that's the most interesting bit that I like in short track, getting down, getting down low."
The two brothers are members of the National Kenyan Inline Speedskating Team, but they've wanted to switch to short-track speedskating. Their two problems: they don't have a sponsor to fund their training and they also don't have ice in Kenya.
"We were dreaming to go to the Olympics in Vancouver Canada," said Newton. "But we didn't get sponsorship in time to train hard enough for time trials."
They do have heart though and some skill. Newton has won the Kenyan National Title in Inline Skating since 2005.
The brothers' determination led them to the International and U.S. Olympic Committee's, who granted them scholarships to come train at the U.S. Olympic Education Center in Marquette for a month and half.
U.S. speedskaters here have been sharing tips with the Kenyans for the last two weeks.
Mock races for the Kenyans may be next.
"If you have racing experience, that will carry so well to ice," said U.S. Speedskater and former inline skater, Chris Creveling. "And that's all you need because once you get out there for a race, it's all mental."
"We come to share experience, like maybe when we are in locker rooms," Kevin said. "We find out we are sharing the same backgrounds, but in different continents. But we are loving it."
The Marikio brothers are scheduled to train at the U.S.O.E.C. until mid-January. But they're hoping the International Olympic Committee will extend their scholarship to give them more time to work on technique.