NJ’s Kimi Goetz battled injuries to speed skate in first Olympics


Four years after a devastating concussion wiped out her Olympic dreams, speed skater Kimi Goetz is getting a second chance for a medal at the Winter Games in Beijing.

And her New Jersey mom couldn’t be happier — or more relieved that injuries that plagued her daughter, including that concussion and back surgery, are finally a thing of the past.

“She never gave up,” Linda Goetz told The Post.

Linda and her family gathered Friday at the Lone Eagle Brewery in Flemington, NJ, where a local nonprofit threw a watch party for their town’s star skater, 27.

“She is the first person to ever, ever in the history of our town go to the Games,” Linda said.

Kimi hopes to compete in the 1,000-meter race on Feb. 17. The heats for that race take place Wednesday.

Kimi Goetz with family from 2020 Utah at world championships.
Kimi Goetz (front row, second from left) learned to in-line skate by watching her sister Sam (on her right) and gets support from the whole family, posing with her at the world championships in Utah in 2020.

“It’s more special because a lot of people are following her. She is just unbelievable. Everyone really loves Kimi here,” Linda added. “She is so grateful and so humble. She is grateful for everything that has been done in our town for her.”

Kimi agreed.

“Right now, I’m so excited and honored to be here,” she wrote The Post in an e-mail from the Olympic Village.

“It’s been a dream for a long time, so I’m soaking it in. The nerves haven’t set in just yet.”

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Erin Jackson, Kimi Goetz, Brittany Bowe and Austin Kleba of USA Speed Skating Team.
The skater (second from left) joins Team USA members Erin Jackson, Brittany Bowe and Austin Kleba, members of a formidable contingent in Beijing.
Getty Images

Her career could have ended in 2018 during her first Olympic trials. A concussion she sustained in a fall in warmups knocked her out of the competition — and off the ice for four months.

“At the time it was the worst thing (in my mind) that could have happened, since I had a realistic shot at making the Olympic team,” Kimi said in an interview for gr8nola.

She told the blog it took months of physical therapy before she could resume skating, and that she continues to have “a few small side effects.”

KIMI GOETZ  with family. 
From left: Samantha (sister), Linda (mom), Kimi, Kyle (brother), Roger (dad).
“She never gave up,” said mom Linda (second from left) of Kimi (middle), chilling at home with brother Kyle and dad Roger.
Courtesy of Linda Goetz

She also battled a back injury that needed surgery in 2016 and still requires treatment from “deep massages — the kind that hurt,” Linda said.

Kimi, who works as a processor in a finance company, is part of a powerhouse 12-member US speed skating team with a chance to bring home the most medals since the 2006 Games in Torino, Italy, where three men — Shani Davis, Chad Hedrick and Joey Cheek — won individual golds.

"Today I received my letters from home. Thank you to everyone who sent something for me to have in Beijing. So much love- not enough wall space."
“So much love — not enough wall space,” posted Goetz from her room in the Olympic Village in Beijing, showing off letters from her hometown of Flemington, NJ.
Instagram @kimigoetz

Kimi, who began in-line skating when she was 8 by “copying everything her older sister, Sam, did growing up,” according to her team bio.


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