Dick Senecal makes sure he spends at least an hour every day skating at the Sunnycrest Ice Rink on Syracuse's East Side. He says even at 77 years old he continues to skate to stay in shape and because he just likes it.
Senecal started skating competitively at the age of 15 for the Syracuse Speed Skating Club and for LeMoyne University's speed skating team. During his junior year at LeMoyne, Senecal and the team won the Dartmouth Winter Carnival North American Intercollegiate Speed Skating Championship. He says most people did not know the team existed but the trophy is still on display at the university.
Senecal says he stopped skating competitively for about 30 years, but in 1990 he started training again to qualify for the Empire State games. He says "miraculously after not having skated all those years I qualified the very first race I was in."
Speed skating is still a big part of Senecal's life. This Saturday and Sunday he will be a judge or a timer for the Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid.