A Year After Telling Story of Abuse, Speedskater Bridie Farrell Achieves Personal Bests

Feb 7, 2014

After undergoing gall bladder surgery seven weeks before Olympic trials, Bridie Farrell placed seasonal and personal best in long-track skating.
Credit Courtesy of Bridie Farrell

Almost exactly a year ago, speedskater Bridie Farrell rocked the sports world when she went public with the story of her sexual abuse by former teammate, mentor and four-time Olympian Andy Gabel.

That story – and allegations by other skaters – led to Gabel’s resignation from several skating governing bodies.

At that time, the former Olympic short-track hopeful had been training in Milwaukee to transition her career into long-track skating. As the Olympics neared, Farrell moved her training base to Utah, where the Olympic trials were held in December.

But despite a solid performance in those races, Farrell will watch the Sochi games from the United States.

Farrell, who trained vigorously for over a year, says her performance was, in part, hindered by an unexpected obstacle: unexpected gall bladder surgery only seven weeks before the trials.

Undaunted, Farrell is looking at the experience in an optimistic light. This was the first time she performed in long-track Olympic trials and she achieved both personal and seasonal bests in three out of four events.

“The best part about long-track is that you are truly racing against yourself,” she says. “So if I can post my best times and don’t make the team, then it’s really hard to be disappointed by that.”