Day represents on the rink



Cory Day began speed skating six years ago after being invited by the Tennessee Speed team. He has grown and improved in his sport and plans to continue skating for as long as he is allowed.

On carbon fiber frames and two sets of wheels, Cory Day (10) is pure speed as he races through a 100-meter track in 8.9 seconds. There are nearly eight million American high school students that double as athletes every year. Sports such as football, basketball and soccer are ones that usually come to mind; but for Day, his sport of choice is speed skating.

Day’s speed skating career began six years ago while hanging out with friends at the skating rink. Day and his brother were invited to join Tennessee Speed, an amateur speed skating team that practices at Cordova Skating Rink.

“I was just at the skating rink with some friends,” Day said. “My little brother got invited [and] he was better than me for the longest, but then, maybe three years ago, I blew past him and shot up the charts a little bit.”

Day is surrounded by a great community skating with the Tennessee Speed team.

“I’ve made so many amazing friends,” Day said. “I have friends that I don’t have to talk to all the time to keep the friendship going.”

Day often attends competitions and recently traveled to Florida for the Emerald Coastline Challenge on Jan. 14. Being in a sport allows for connections with all types of people to be made. Competitions for speed skating are held all across the globe.

“The traveling [is my favorite part] and the friends. You build a lot of connections and friendships,” Day said.

Skating is not Day’s only athletic talent. His father suggested he try out rugby and now Day plays for the White Station team. With multiple practices each week for both sports, Day’s athletic abilities escalated.

“Before I started rugby, I never really ran, I was just always a skater,” Day said. “After I started rugby, after all the running, it actually improved my skating so that equaled out perfectly.”

Facing tight turns and high speeds, speed skating is not as gentle on the body as it is on the eyes. With one wrong move, skaters are at risk of sliding across the rink or tumbling down the trail. Skating requires a unique combination of balance, power and speed, skills that may take years to perfect.

“It’s a lot of sweat and tears,” Day said. “You’re killing yourself every practice pretty much.”

Over the years, speed skating has become an integral part of Day’s life. After investing considerable amounts of time and money into the sport, Day has dedicated himself to skating. Day receives nothing but encouragement and motivation from friends, family and coaches. Having this great community makes pushing through his own internal hardships much less daunting.

“I tried to quit one time … and [my dad] didn’t like that very well and he changed my mind quickly,” Day said. “[Then] my coach sat me down and said ‘Why?’ and I said ‘Because I got my feelings hurt,’ and he said that’s a dumb reason, and I agreed with him. Now I can’t see myself not skating. It’s a part of my everyday routine.”

Day’s passion for speed skating can be seen through his goals and aspirations.

“Right now, my goal is to win nationals,” Day said. “[In my opinion,] after you complete one goal, then you can set another goal.”

For Day, speed skating is not just a form of staying active, he has a community and hobby that has greatly impacted his life. Day could not imagine what his life would be like without speed skating, and he does not plan to find out any earlier than he has to.

“It has taught me way more than just skating,” Day said. “It opened a whole new world for me.”