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Emery Lehman
Personal information
Born June 13, 1996 (1996-06-13) (age 25)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Residence Oak Park, Illinois
Alma mater Marquette University
Height 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m)
Weight 187 pounds (85 kg)
Sport
Country  United States
Sport Speed skating
Club Franklin Park Speedskating Club
Coached by Gabriel Girard

Emery Chance Lehman (born June 13, 1996) is an American speed skater who represented the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 Winter Olympics. Lehman started playing ice hockey at age six, taking up speed skating in an attempt to improve his hockey at age nine. He excelled at the sport, winning his first national time at age 12. Two years later, he won the US junior title in the 5000 meters. The next year, he won four junior national titles.

Lehman won the senior 2012–13 National Championship in the 5000 meters and three titles at the junior championships. He then won a gold and a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships. In his senior year of high school, Lehman won the 10000 meters at the 2013–14 US Senior Championship/Olympic Trials, and took second place in the 5000 meters. At the Olympics, he placed 16th in the 5000 meters, and 10th in the 10000 meters.

As of 2020, Lehman holds two national junior speed skating records.

Early and personal life

Lehman was born in Chicago, Illinois, to parents Marcia and David, and is Jewish. His mother works in Chicago for Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his father works for himself. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois. As of 2014, he was a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School, where he was an honor student. He is now studying to become an engineer.

During his time off, Lehman enjoys playing table tennis with friends. He volunteers regularly at the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, and is in the process of being certified as a speed skating coach. Lehman lists the Chicago Bears and Chicago Blackhawks as his favorite sports teams, and Bo Jackson as his sporting hero. He says his mother has been the most influential person in his life.

Emery graduated cum laude from Marquette University majoring in Civil Engineering. Emery is now enrolled at Johns Hopkins University with a focus in structural engineering.

Athletic career

Ice hockey

Lehman began playing ice hockey when he was six years old. As a sophomore in high school, he was selected as a conference All-Star playing defense for Oak Park and River Forest High School's (OPRF) varsity team. Describing Lehman's game, his coach remarked, "He delivers absolute monster hits ... He doesn't get knocked down, and he is always first to the puck". During the summer of 2013, Lehman hurt his ankle and the new OPRF hockey coach did not want to play him for fear of an injury jeopardizing Lehman's Olympic speed skating chances. Lehman thus took his senior year off from hockey. Emery Lehman reignited his career with Marquette’s ACHA Division II Hockey Team. He played defense for the team, scoring 2 goals and 10 assists.

Speed skating

At age nine, Lehman saw a poster claiming speed skating could help improve hockey skills. His mother persuaded Lehman to give it a try and he found he had a talent for the sport.

Lehman was a 2008–09 short and long track speed skating national champion. In 2010, Emery began training with 2x Olympian Jeff Klaiber (who would coach Emery at the Olympic Games and through the 2015-16 season). In 2010-11, Emery won the 5000 meters at the 2010–11 United States Junior Championships, and was third in the All-Around. He participated in the 2010–11 World Junior Championships, placing 11th in the 5000 meters and 18th in the All-Around, at age 14. At the 2011–12 US Junior Championships, Lehman won the 1500 meter, 3000 meter, and 5000 meter distances, and also placed first in the All-Around. In his second year at the World Junior Championships, he was the youngest competitor in the field. At the senior National Championships that year, he placed sixth in the 1500 meter and 5000 meter events. He was fifth in the All-Around.

At the 2012 World Cup trials, Lehman improved his personal best in the 5000 meters by ten seconds, to 6:28.56. Aged 16, he became the youngest skater ever to break 6:30. He finished second overall and qualified for the senior World Cup team. "I know I'm doing well, but I didn't know it would be this well," Lehman remarked.

At the 2012–13 US National Championships, he again improved his 5000-meter time, winning with a time of 6:27.06. He also took part in the 500, 1000, 1500, and 10000 meter events. He turned in personal best times in all four events and placed third in the 10000 meters. At the US Junior Championships, Lehman won the 1500, 3000, and 5000 meter events. At the World Junior Championships, he won a bronze medal in the 3000 meters, and a gold medal in the 5000 meters with a time of 6:38.76. At the senior World Championships, he placed 20th in the 5000 meters.

In November 2013, Lehman improved his own Junior National Record and came within 0.8 seconds of the World Junior record with a time of 6:19.87 in the 5000 meters. On December 27, Lehman, skating in the last of 10 pairs of athletes, completed the 5000 meters in a time of 6:25.90 at the US Olympic Trials. The time placed him second and qualified Lehman for his first Olympic Games.

On January 1, 2014, Lehman took part in the 10000 meter race at the Olympic Trials. With three laps to go, he was four seconds behind 2010 Olympian Jonathan Kuck. Lehman took the lead with one lap to go. Kuck re-took the lead at the final turn, but Lehman edged him by seven hundredths of a second, about two blade lengths, at the finish line. "That was pretty insane," remarked Lehman. "I didn't expect to be finishing anywhere close to Jonathan." Lehman's time of 13:22.77 improved his personal best by seven seconds, and placed him first overall with one pairing – Patrick Meek and Edwin Park – remaining. Meek finished 0.39 seconds behind Lehman, taking third. Gary D'Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called the race "perhaps the most thrilling race of the trials".

At the Olympics, Lehman placed 16th in the 5000 meters with a time of 6:29.94. He was the top finishing American. Later, he placed 10th in the 10000 meters with a time of 13:28.67, far exceeding his personal best for a race at sea level. The exertion of the race caused him to vomit. After the games, he went directly to the World Junior Championships.

Lehman trained at the Pettit National Ice Center, and was coached by Eric Cepuran from 2016-2018. He is a member of the Franklin Park Speedskating Club.

Lehman was named Team Pursuit Specialist for the 2018 Winter Olympics. He is the 5k 2018 National Champion and gained an Olympic spot to skate for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. He placed 21st in the 5,000 meters by finishing in 6 minutes, 31.16 seconds. He and the Team USA team pursuit trio, which also included Brian Hansen and Joey Mantia, finished in eighth place in the D final, with a time of 3:50.77, after skating 3:42.98 in the prior round.

After taking a season off to enroll in school full time, in the 2019-20 season, Lehman made a coaching change to train under Gabriel Girard, who has since been hired by US Speed Skating as the long-distance national team head coach. The season started strong and Lehman saw very positive results in the fall at World Cups and skating marathons in Holland. Later that season, despite dealing with a very serious virus in the weeks leading up, Lehman placed 3rd in the 5000m at the 2020 Four-Continents Championship, held at the Pettit National Ice Center. A month later at the 2020 ISU World Single Distance Championships, held at the Utah Olympic Oval, Lehman placed 16th in the 1500m finishing with a personal best time of 1:44.25. Lehman also competed in the team pursuit event alongside teammates Ian Quinn and Ethan Cepuran, finishing in 5th place with a time of 3:38.51.

Since graduating from Marquette University in the Spring of 2020, Lehman has moved to Salt Lake City Utah to train on the US speed skating national team program.

Lacrosse

Lehman also plays lacrosse competitively, serving as a midfielder. During the summers, he plays on an elite travel team in Illinois. As a freshman in high school, he was the team captain. Lehman's coach says he is a "very skilled player" who could play for a "high-level Division III to mid-level Division I" college program. He is a member of Marquette's Club Lacrosse team in his off season to stay in shape.

Personal bests

Personal records
Men's speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
500 m 36.78 March 18, 2017 Calgary Olympic Oval, Calgary
1000 m 1:09.68 January 3, 2018 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City
1500 m 1:44.25 December 29, 2019 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City
3000 m 3:45.92 August 26, 2017 Pettit National Ice Center, Milwaukee
5000 m 6:18.03 December 1, 2017 Calgary Olympic Oval, Calgary
10000 m 13:22.77 January 1, 2014 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City
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