Success inside or outside the classroom takes a team that has a strong work ethic, dedication, as well as a collaborative effort from all. Kayla Duque, a fifth-grade student at Long Beach Elementary, is a great role model who shows us what is possible by succeeding at the highest level of competition in the sport of inline speed skating.
Duque qualified for the Pan American Games last month, which took place in Florida fromJanuary 22-26. During the event, she earned a gold medal and a bronze medal in two events. The Pan American games include athletes from over 40 countries, all of whom are the best at what they do in their country.
Duque began the sport just three years ago. She was influenced by her mother and uncle, both of whom skated as children. The family dedicates four nights per week for practice traveling to the USA Skate Center in Romeoville. You can even see her practicing in the Long Beach parking lot during the summer. Many people who excel with inline skating go on to compete in speed skating during the Winter Olympics. Kayla hopes to one day compete for Team USA if inline skating ever becomes an event, but will make the transition to speed skating if needed.