While double checking the spelling of her name, I ran across this wonderful article. A bit dated, but a great read all the same.
Wilma Boomstra: New hot spot for short track
By SCOTT M. REID
The Orange County Register
Published: Dec. 12, 2005 3:00 a.m
LAKEWOOD – A pair of 10-year-old boys, their oversized speed-skating boots and helmets making them appear even younger, sneak across the ice at the Glacial Gardens rink, each of them clutching a ball of icy slush.
Their seemingly unsuspecting target is Wilma Boomstra, their coach, who is relaxing against the rink’s sideboards holding a cup of coffee.
“Don’t even think about it,” she barks, barely looking up, just as they are about to fire. She gives them a faux hard look before breaking into laughter.
Lakewood is 2,396 miles and about 70 degrees from Marquette, Mich., (-2 degrees one day last week). But the U.S. Short Track Speedskating Championships/Olympic Trials, which open today in the frozen town on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, are expected to solidify Orange County’s and Los Angeles’ growing – and unlikely – reputation as one of the sport’s international hot spots.
Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno will share the headlines this week with Orange County’s Rusty Smith, the 2002 Olympic 500-meter bronze medalist, and Hyo- Jung Kim, who swept all four women’s events at last season’s U.S. championships.
The success of Smith and Kim, both medal contenders for the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, is a sign of things to come. Four of the top five men’s overall finishers at the U.S. Junior Short Track Championships last month were from Southern California.
So how did Orange County and Los Angeles come to be mentioned in global short- track circles in the same breath as Quebec, Seoul, and Beijing?
“I tell people it’s all the sun we get,” cracked Jade Wheeler, an Olympic team contender from Los Alamitos.
“How’d this area get to be such a hot spot? That’s her doing,” Southern California Speed Skating president Jerry Search said, leaning over the sideboards and pointing at Boomstra.
“Because of Wilma,” Smith said, “we have people coming from all over the country to California.”
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