About Michael W. Hubbs
Michael Hubbs was born Deaf in Omaha, NE. Relocating to Dallas, TX, he was raised by his grandmother. At 10 years old, he met speed skaters at the Westlake Skate Center (now Aloha Skate Center) in Mesquite, TX, and became fascinated with inline skating. During teenage years, he faced a lot of obstacles and never gave up.
When he was 16, the Inline Speed Skating Instructor at US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Spring, Colorado recognized his potential in speed skating and invited him to move to Colorado Springs, CO, and train at the Olympic Center. His father refused, instead sending him to the Texas School for the Deaf to finish his schooling. Michael stayed active throughout his high school years, becoming a top-notch swimmer and winning bronze at the Texas State Championship. Attending Gallaudet University, he broke seven collegiate records while earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He realized his passion wasn’t in swimming so he left the sport.
In 2010, his friend Jordan Malone made the U.S. Olympic Team in short track speed skating and won an Olympic medal. After Jordan asked Michael about his speed skating, Michael sat down and asked himself, “Am I willing to start all over again and finish what I didn’t finish in the past?” The answer was a resounding YES! In March that year, he began inline speed skating again. By May, he won the bronze in the 500m and 1000m at the Southern Regional Championship, despite not having skated for 10 years. Qualifying for the USA National Speed Skating Championship in July, he placed fourth in the 1000m. Winning competitions in the World Class Pro category led him to a conversation with his head coach, Jim Blair, where they discussed his future. After research and reflection, Michael decided to transition from inline speed skating to ice speed skating. This decision changed his life, and helped him get straight from all of his troubles.
Selling every item he owned, including his car, Michael paid for a one-way flight to Salt Lake City, UT, so he could train at the Olympic Oval. Quickly realizing how much tougher ice was compared to inline, he spent a few frustrating months having to start all over in short track speed skating and was led by Coach Derek Parra, a former Olympic medalist and world record holder. Derek had made a similar transition from inline to ice speed skating, and helped Michael endure hard work, countless hours and unending commitment in order to become part of the Facilitated Athlete Sport Training (FAST) team.
In August 2011, Michael participated in the Desert Classic competition at the Utah Olympic Oval with the goal of setting personal best times. In the 500m, he shaved five seconds off his personal best time, and in the 1500m, he shaved 13 seconds off. He then won the overall bronze at the Eastern States Championship in September, and first place in the 500m at the American Cup that following month. He is grateful to the sport for changing his perspectives and helping him do something meaningful with his life.