Sidetracked: Tucker Trains Stephen Colbert

By: Melissa S. Wollering

When Stephen Colbert stepped up to sponsor the U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team, he went all-in.  First, he (with the help of fans) dished out $300,000 to cover what Dutch Bank DSB wouldn’t.  Then, he challenged Shani Davis to a skate-off, after Davis allegedly called him a jerk.  When Davis accepted, Colbert decided he needed a teacher.  Not just any teacher—the world’s best.

Enter Wisconsin native and Team USA’s Tucker Fredricks.  We introduced you to the Janesville resident several months ago in this TSB feature. Not only did Tucker teach Comedy Central’s gem to skate on The Colbert Report, but this month’s segment took on a life all its own, landing everyone—including Tucker’s mom—on national television.

“It was a really funny skit,” says Fredricks.  “It was a blast, and he is a really funny guy.” [Read more…]

Sidetracked: Sconnie Speedskater May Go for Gold

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By: Melissa S. Wollering

With the Olympics fresh on the minds of many Midwesterners as a result of the Chicago 2016 bid, we here at The SportsBank.net wanted to share one of the region’s best-kept secrets. You know, things that are “kind of a big deal.” Every so often in our new column Sidetracked, we’ll branch out to bring you the best in non-mainstream Midwestern sports talent.  We start with speedskating. If you don’t know him now, you will by Vancouver 2010.  He’s the next big name headed to the Winter Olympics in his sport; Janesville, Wisconsin native Tucker Fredricks. [Read more…]