Janesville Olympian asks parents to stay home for safety
3-time Olympic speed skater Tucker Fredricks will compete Feb. 10Janesville Olympian asks parents to stay home for safety
JANESVILLE, Wis. — The Olympic are a little more than two weeks away and Russian police are attempting to find radicals before athletes arrive.
Authorities said they shot and killed a wanted Islamic militant leader Tuesday, as well as a so-called “black widow,” women trained in suicide bombings. Authorities are looking for more, including one believed to be in Sochi, where the games will be held.
Meanwhile, the United States will have 40 FBI agents in Russia to help with security and two Navy ships on patrol nearby in case Americans need to be evacuated.
One local family has a vested interest in Olympic security.
Janesville native Tucker Fredricks is a three-time Olympic speed skater. The Sochi games will be his third trip to Olympics, but for the first time he won’t have his biggest fans in the stands.
“It’s been really hard for both of us to not be there because that sounds like it’s what we are supposed to do,” said Shawn Fredricks, Tucker’s mom.
Shawn and Dan Fredricks are upset to be sidelined from Sochi, but are proud of their son.
“I think it’s kind of neat that a kid from Janesville is representing the city and the state and the country,” said Dan Fredricks, Tucker’s dad.
“It’s been quite the journey. I remember him sitting in the back seat of the car and us saying to him, ‘So, what are you goals? Oh, you would like to make a World Cup team, you would like to be an Olympian? Then act that way!'” said Shawn.
That pep talk was just the beginning for the 2002 Janesville Craig High School graduate. He’s been to the 2006 games in Torin, Italy, and the 2010 games in Vancouver, usually with his parents by his side.
“Fortunately we have had the total Olympic experience with two great experiences, and it was a lot of fun and we got to experience the whole Olympics experience itself,” Dan said.
But due to safety concerns, Tucker told his parents to stay home.
“There are concerns out there for security, and it seems like there is something new every day and Tucker wants to be focused so he asked us and his wife if we would stay home and watch on TV and not have a secondary thing to worry about ,” Dan said.
The Fredricks hope all the athletes are safe.
“We are going to be optimistic that everything will be fine and the athletes will be fine,” Dan said.
Tucker competes in the 500-meter speed skating event Feb. 10. He finished second in the U.S. Olympic trials.
Tucker then plans to retire and live in Salt Lake City with his wife, a former Japanese speed skater.