Coaching exodus at US Speedskating continues

KEARNS, Utah (AP) — The national sprint coach for U.S. Speedskating has quit, joining an exodus of coaches in the wake of the Americans’ shutout at the Sochi Olympics.

Ryan Shimabukuro announced Tuesday on his Facebook page that he was stepping down after 16 years. He said the decision “is the hardest I’ve ever had to make.”

He says his future will be decided soon. He coached Shani Davis to gold and silver medals at the 2010 Olympics; Joey Cheek to gold at the 2006 Games; and Heather Richardson to the overall World Cup championship in 2011.

Shimabukuro, a former speedskater from Hawaii, had been based at the Utah Olympic Oval, where the national team trains.

He joins high-performance director Finn Halvorsen and national allround coach Kip Carpenter in leaving the organization. The Americans failed to finish higher than sixth in a long-track event at Sochi. The program has won more medals than any other U.S. winter sport and had not missed the podium at the Winter Games since 1984.

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