A local speed skater out of Midland is working to compete in the 2022 winter Olympics.
But he needs a little help in order to keep up his training abroad.
“It’s really unique and I like to say that I do something that no one else does,” said Brett Perry, speed skater.
Brett is out on the ice more than he is on the ground on a normal day.
The 25-year-old, who works part-time and even takes college classes abroad, is currently in Poland competing on a world cup speed skating team.
But like so many others, his journey to get there began with a single step.
“We went to Cambridge, Ontario one time. For his first time he ever went to Canada. And I think he got first or second place. And my wife and I looked at each other and went, ‘oh no. This is something he’s got a future in,’” said Paul Perry, Brett’s father.
Paul remembered the first time his son’s interest in the sport became a career.
He knew it wouldn’t be easy physically or financially, but he supported his son through thick and thin. Brett eventually got the chance to compete in an Olympic qualifier earlier this year. He came in fourth place by less than 300 milliseconds.
“So three-tenths of a second doesn’t sound like much, but in skating terms it’s quite a bit. However, it showed he’s progressing and that’s always been the best part about it,” Paul said.
While he fell just short of making the Olympics in 2018, Brett is now looking forward to 2022 in Beijing.
“I went into the competition obviously wanting to make the Olympic team, but I didn’t know I was going to miss it by just one spot. And that alone made me want to keep skating,” Brett said.
His parents want to keep that dream going by putting all of their extra money into a GoFundMe account for their son, which they hope will lead to further success.
“We’ve had a lot of nice donations. We’re a little over $1,000 now. He’s hoping for as many people as he can to support him because the drive that it takes to achieve what he’s done is phenomenal. And what it’s given to him in his life and to us as a family is immeasurable,” Paul said.