Montreal 24 hour Report

Unlike last year I hope to voice my appreciation without a long boring recitation. I will limit my observations to the last hour because that’s when I really came alive. Earlier in the week, wanting to give him time to decide, I had asked Captain Larry if I could have the last lap, and without hesitation he replied, “It’s yours.” For this I am deeply indebted. I thank my teammates for not complaining about my getting the last lap (at least not to my face…just kidding). This is a great group of people who gave their all on every lap, and I never heard a word of complaint from anyone (except maybe myself).

Well, Violet and Trisha came rolling in on top of the world. Violet has set a goal of 14 minutes and she finished in 13 minutes (even though she pulled her momma down the backstretch into the wind!). Brian and Ben then pull their usual rapid laps. Larry was busy estimating ETA’S and planning laps. He had a duel goal…to get me the last lap and to maintain our relative position in the overall standings…we were only about one minute ahead. If Mary Ann could pull her usual good time and Tom could pull around 9 minutes (a very fast lap), then Larry could bring it home for me. That is exactly what happened. Mary Ann hit her ETA, Tom turned about a 9:13 (wow) and Larry came in with about a minute and a half to spare. We maintained our overall position, and I got the final lap! I set off on the first leisurely lap of my weekend. Crossing the finish line was one of the top two thrills, and the most emotional, of my skating career. As I crossed, there was the godfather in his muted Fossil uniform (how could I miss him?) waiting with a boisterous high five. After the Fossils, the track had cleared somewhat and I started to slow and then I heard, ” Hey Louie, keep skating.” I looked down the track and saw a wall of people with that famous pink helmet ‘floating’ in the middle and an arm ‘windmilling’ rapidly around. Yep, there were my teammates, and even strangers, yelling and cheering me on. I hit the wall with ‘low fives coming from all directions. Contrary to BB, “The thrill wasn’t gone.” What a great 24 hours–especially the last one! I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Margo and Ben, my videographers, and Mary Ann and Chris my photographers for visually and audibly capturing these exciting moments in time.
Lewis Freiberg

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