The Ice and Times of Short Track Speedskating was born out of The Rocker Fund website, and its sister sites, Rocker U and the Boots and Blades Forum.

Originally Short Track News was posted on the News tab at TRF, (Where previous posts are still archived there) mostly with an emphasis on photos. However, the site and its News pages was becoming bogged down with all the photos (pages took FOREVER to load), and I was becoming bogged down by all the HTML coding required to load the photos on a website. (There is a reason these don’t change every day…as I learned the hard way! LOL)

Although the photos looked so very wonderful on the cobalt blue background, I finally just had to bite the bullet, and move the News to a blog format, so it didn’t take the rest of my natural life to do an update.

And hence Life and Times was born.

So how did I get into this? Good Question. It started as a simple enough idea, and it all kind of exploded on us. (Us- being Lori Robinson and me (Michelle Portesi). Our original plan was just to get some money into the hands of some skaters to help them with their training expenses. However, in doing the research on it all, it was just unbelievably time consuming just digging up info on any given skater, event or photos….and I thought, “Geez, there has GOT to be a better way of doing this!”.

Turns out, there is! šŸ™‚
Turns out, we had to create it. šŸ˜¦

…well OK, it’s not that bad and sad šŸ™‚ Just overwhelming at times….

In our small, little fan effort to support and get the word out on a small, often little noticed sport, our efforts grew to expand to two website, a forum and now – a blog.

Please take a moment to visit these sites. They all try to accomplish a specific function, and have lots of Info for fans- New and Old, to peruse.

The Rocker Fund – (run by Michelle) This is the donation arm of the websites and focuses on Skaters from the USA. Skater of the Month tab is to introduce the lesser known skaters and publish their ‘donate to’ info. These skaters have asked to be a part of the site.

The National Team Info – This tab has links to the more well known skaters (you know, the ones who skate at the World Cups), websites, fanpages, and links or information on how to purchase merchandise such as T shirts and such. These are FYI pages, and there is no affiliation with the skaters other than asking their permission to post their T shirt sales info and such. Any donation information for these skaters is usually on their website, if they are in fact asking for any. (The skaters on the National level can ask to have their donation info on TRF at their discretion)

News Tab- ’cause you just can’t have a viable, successful website based soley on the premise of ‘Open your wallet, and send some money!’. The archives of what was posted before TRF’s News section went ‘blog’ are on the News pull down menu by date. Check them out, there are some nice photos of competitions here.

Rocker U – (run by Lori) This site is fan education based, and it is set up like a University. This site has more of a focus on Short Track Speedskating on an International level. Full of photos on the ‘Skinsuits of the World’, videos and even a ‘Bookstore’ – (which like a University Booksore, has a meriad of things in it)

The Boots & Blades Forum – (Run by Lori) Well, the name speaks for itself – it’s a forum (although one fan jokingly said it sounded like a forum for pirates…)
At any rate, this was a place to put all that info that just plain doesn’t fit on a website on a GREAT MANY INDIVIDUAL SKATERS – and be able to do so in an organized fashion. While blogs are a series of news events as they happen on many subject, the forum is set up so that items of interest are placed and/or archived on that individual skaters thread, making it easy to find out information on a specific individual or competition.

Anyone can join and post info, articles, photos..or just your two cents… etc (and we HIGHLY encourage that…too many skaters…so little time) Posts are on skaters from the National level down to the ‘farm team’. Looking for some info on a skater who is competing at some level, you will probably find something about them here.

The site also has trip planning info, sections for international skaters, miscellaneous threads for off topic musings…and is highly interactive for anyone who would like to have more of a conversation on a number of topics – as all forums are based on.

And Finally:

The Ice & Times of Short Track Speedskating – (run by Michelle) a place to FINALLY post all those google alerts that usually languish unopened in my e-mail. Hopefully, I can get to them in a more timely fashion now. Up to the minute (OK, more like ‘Up to the Day’ info…hey, I DO have a life…) Also this is where those photos from competitions will now end up.

Please go to the home page here on Life and Times for all those links, along with many other bloggers, official sites and Media.


As for me, (kind of answering that ‘How did I get into this?’ question). I came from a figure skating background (NOTHING to this caliber) Got hooked on Short Track Speedskating as well. (Watching, not participating…LOL)

I’ve been an Olympics Fan since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and I have always felt we as a nation should do a better job of supporting our Olympic athletes if we want them to do well at competitions. When they march in the opening ceremonies, they represent the USA- all of us as a nation. They are a shining example of the very best of what our county is – and all it can be.

Me personally? You want the official title or what I actually do?
Title: Interior Designer specializing in Kitchen and Bath Design.
(What I actually do? Well, really, tear your ENTIRE HOUSE apart, redesign it, and put it back together again… Working for contractors, my area of expertise has expanded past Kitchens and Baths to full residential remodel.)

To view some of my portfolio work, you can go to the Facebook Page: ‘ Much Ado with Nothing’. I do mostly high end work, but I’m VERY good at making a house look expensive on a budget…hence the title.

And hey, since I have found myself as a casualty of the downturn in the economy. You need some design work done, (or you know someone who wants to hire a designer – contact me!)

Michelle Portesi

One Response to About

  1. Hi Michelle, Thanks for your site. I’m an old skater (now unable) and wrote the book ‘Women and Sport’ pegged round my skating experience…I was at the ’92 Worlds in Denver as coach to the South African team, but I otherwise skated/coached in England.I also became the first woman referee. I have family, thanks to my wandering grandpa, in the USA, mostly Denver, so it was great to be there as you can imagine.GB’s input to these Olympics – including the refereeing – left me sad & angry…Love,Lyn x


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