Will Silk receives national speedskating honor

Butte speedskater Will Silk had himself a pretty good season, and that did not go without notice.

The 15-year-old freshman at Butte High School was named 2020-21 Long Track Development Skater of the Year by U.S. Speedskating.

Silk learned of the honor in a letter from Matt Kooreman, the U.S. Long Track Program director, dated April 19.

“You have earned this position based upon your performance throughout the past season and at the discretion of the USS High-Performance Team,” the letter read.

Silk, who also plays basketball for Butte High, will now train with the U.S. Development Team this upcoming year.

“Your dedication and hard work have earned you a place among those with the brightest future in our sport,” Kooreman told Silk in the letter. “U.S. Speedskating is proud to support you in your development and training during the upcoming year, in the hopes you can achieve your personal goals within the sport and your greatest potential as a skater.”

Silk, who will turn 16 in September, has been invited to participate in camps set for July and August in Salt Lake City and October in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As the Junior Development Skater of the Year, his admission to those camps will be waived.

In January, Silk qualified for the U.S. Junior Championships Long Track in Wisconsin. That meet served as the qualifier for the U.S. Junior team. He was the youngest boy in the country to qualify for that meet this year.

Silk is the son of Dave and Lori Silk of Butte. Dave Silk is a two-time Olympian speedskater. He as an alternate in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. He competed in the 1988 Calgary Games.

The older Silk, a former World Cup Champion, was inducted into the U.S. Speedskating Hall of Fame in 2013.