Tagged: Kyle Peck

The Small, (relatively) Unknown World of Competitive Roller Skating

October 16th, 2013 Permalink

I spent much of my late 70′s childhood in roller skating rinks. The musty, rubbery scent of the floor, the dizzying spell of the disco ball and the sounds of Rick James and Donna Summer blasting during a blur of pre-teen fun was something I never forgot.   So a few years ago I decided [...]

I spent much of my late 70′s childhood in roller skating rinks. The musty, rubbery scent of the floor, the dizzying spell of the disco ball and the sounds of Rick James and Donna Summer blasting during a blur of pre-teen fun was something I never forgot.   So a few years ago I decided to have my birthday party at the Lynwood Sport Center in Lynwood, IL.   Many of my friends were like “Uh, can you drink?  What no alcohol?”  I wanted to go back and have some good old fashioned fun without booze.  Bad pizza and a cake were all that we consumed that day, but I have to say that most of my friends and family left with a new lease on life and the magical powers of a retro-roller rink.   I heard things like, “Wow, skating is so underrated” and “That’s the best party I’ve been to in a long time!”

After booking my party I couldn’t help but notice a “practice” of some sort going on.  Skaters were skating like they would on ice.  I called the owner to find out more about it and was introduced the the world of competitive roller skating.  I also got to know John Peck (the coach) and his lovely family.  They taught me all about this relatively unknown sport and allowed me into their world.  Sadly their youngest son Kyle was hit by a car and killed at the Worlds in Rome, Italy. But the Pecks have found strength in keeping their love and passion for roller skating alive. Kyle was a national champion at the age of 10.

After feeling nostalgic about my Lynwood blast, I went to book another party at my neighborhood rink – Southgate Roller Rink.  I spoke with the owners and told them about Lynwood and they were like, “You know John Peck!?”  Turns out the owner Josh Rhoades has traveled with John and is a world champion himself.

That was it I booked it.   It’s a small skating world and I felt like I was home again.  And it doesn’t hurt that they have a bar at Southgate.

Here is a multimedia piece I did on John and his rink a few years ago.