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Rebekah Bradford

United States

SportSpeed Skating
NOCUnited States
Born30 Apr 1983 in  Edina, MN
FamilyHusband Eric Plath
ResidenceSalt Lake City, UT, USA
Higher educationNutrition, Psychology, Sports Science - University of Utah: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Personal Bests
Personal Bests
  Event RecordDateLocation 
    500m 38.46 11 Dec 2009 Salt Lake City, UT  
    1000m 1:16.17 30 Jan 2010 Salt Lake City, UT  
    1500m 2:00.77 07 Jan 2017 Salt Lake City, UT  
    3000m 4:34.35 26 Oct 2008 Milwaukee, WI  
    5000m 8:10.54 01 Dec 2002 Calgary  
Main Achievements
Main Achievements
North American Championships
North American Championships
    500m 1   1  
    1000m 1 1    
    2 x 500m   1    
Social Media
Social Media  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Club / TeamMidway Speedskating Club [USA] / FAST Speedskating Team [USA]:  
Reason for choosing this sportShe took up the sport after watching the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, and was inspired by US skaters such as Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen. Her grandfather was also a speed skater, as were some of her aunts and uncles, so the sport was a way for her to have fun outside.  
When and where did you begin this sport?She began skating in 1988 on frozen lakes in Plymouth, MN, United States of America.  
Name of coachTucker Fredricks [club], USA; Marion Wohlrab [national], GER  
General Interest
General Interest
Sporting philosophy / motto"Do all you can with what you have wherever you are." (Athlete, 27 Jan 2017)  
Memorable sporting achievementBecoming national sprint champion and skating a personal best at the 2010 US Championships. (Athlete, 27 Jan 2017)  
Hero / IdolUS figure skater Scott Hamilton. (Athlete, 27 Jan 2017)  
Awards and honoursShe won the Joey Carlson Spirit Award in 2009. (Facebook page, 07 Feb 2015)  
Other informationBLOOD CLOTS
In 2012 she noticed her legs began swelling after she started using birth control. She was told this was a normal reaction as the body adapted to the hormone. Later in the year, she injured her back while playing ultimate frisbee with friends and was eventually sent to see a spine specialist. Following an MRI scan, it was discovered she had pulmonary embolisms in both of her lungs, a partial infarction [dead lung tissue] and excess fluid around her right lung caused by blood clots that had burst. Further tests showed she has the Factor V Leiden gene, which can make a person more prone to blood clots. A three-month regime of blood-thinning injections helped her recover in time to compete at the US trials ahead of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. "I am proud to say that I missed making the Olympic team by only 0.1 seconds and I missed my personal best by only 0.36 seconds. I have proven to myself that there is life after blood clots." (, 18 Dec 2013)

She retired in 2014, following lengthy injury struggles, and became an executive assistant. However, the injuries persisted and after undergoing surgery on both knees in 2015 she discovered she could lift more than ever. She was curious to find out if that strength would translate to the ice, and in September 2016 she made her skating comeback. Becoming progressively faster, she made the national team for the 2017 World Cup event in Berlin, Germany. (Athlete, 27 Jan 2017)

She fell just before the finish line in the 1000m at the US Olympic trials in December 2009. However, officials from US Speedskating gave her a second chance to qualify for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. In her second run she beat Kelly Gunther's leading time and qualified for her first Olympic berth. "I just did a full effort for that race. I thought it would be pretty hard to do it again. My three-year-old nephew was my hero that day. I didn't want [the fall] to be the thing he remembered about my skating." (, 05 Jan 2011)
Most influential person in careerCoach Marion Wohlrab. (Athlete, 27 Jan 2017)  
InjuriesIn June 2015 she underwent surgery on her right knee. Three months later she had an operation on her left knee. (Athlete, 27 Jan 2017)

In September 2012 she suffered blood clots in her lungs and part of her lung tissue died. Although she was told there would be a minimum of a two-year recovery process, she was able to participate in the US Olympic Trials ahead of the 2014 Games in Sochi. (Athlete, 27 Jan 2017)

She required surgery on both knees in October 2011 after being diagnosed with arthritis. Doctors told her it was likely she would need a total knee replacement within five years if she did not have the operation. Four months went by before she could go back to training on the ice. She missed the whole 2011/12 season as a result. (Athlete, 27 Jan 2017;, 18 Dec 2013)
AmbitionsTo compete at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (, 08 May 2014)  
Championships results
Year Competition Event Rank  
Championships results
    2010/2011 World Single Distances Championships Team Pursuit 6 Laps8  
    2010/2011 World Single Distances Championships 2 x 500m18  
    2010/2011 World Single Distances Championships 1000m23  
    2010 Olympic Games 1000m29  
World Cups
Year Competition Event Rank  
World Cups
    2010/2011 World Cup 500m22  
    2009/2010 World Cup 1000m22  
    2010/2011 World Cup 1000m25  
    2003/2004 World Cup 100m28  
    2006/2007 World Cup 500m32  
    2006/2007 World Cup 100m32  
    2009/2010 World Cup 500m36  
    2008/2009 World Cup 500m42  
    2006/2007 World Cup 1000m47  
    2008/2009 World Cup 1000m48  
    2013/2014 World Cup 1000m54