Emery Lehman

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Emery Lehman
Personal information
Full nameEmery Chance Lehman
Born (1996-06-13) June 13, 1996 (age 22)
Chicago, Illinois
ResidenceOak Park, Illinois
Alma materMarquette University
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Weight167 lb (76 kg)[1]
Country United States
SportSpeed skating
ClubFranklin Park Speedskating Club
Coached byEric Cepuran

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 2014, Lehman held three national junior speed skating records.

Early and personal life[edit]

Lehman was born in Chicago, Illinois, to parents Marcia and David, and is Jewish.[2][3][4] His mother works in Chicago for Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his father works for himself.[5] He lives in Oak Park, Illinois.[5] As of 2014, he was a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School, where he was an honor student.[1][6] He was studying to become an engineer.[3]

During his time off, Lehman enjoys playing table tennis with friends.[3] He volunteers regularly at the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, and is in the process of being certified as a speed skating coach.[1] Lehman lists the Chicago Bears and Chicago Blackhawks as his favorite sports teams, and Bo Jackson as his sporting hero.[2][7] He says his mother has been the most influential person in his life.[2]

Emery is currently a student at Marquette University majoring in Civil Engineering.

Athletic career[edit]

Ice hockey[edit]

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.[1] 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".[8] 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.[9] Lehman thus took his senior year off from hockey.[7]

Speed skating[edit]

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.[10]

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.[1] In his second year at the World Junior Championships, he was the youngest competitor in the field.[8] 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.[1]

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.[8]

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.[11] 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.[11]

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.[9] 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.[7]

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."[6] Lehman's time of 13:22.77 improved his personal best by seven seconds,[6] and placed him first overall with one pairing – Patrick Meek and Edwin Park – remaining. Meek finished 0.39 seconds behind Lehman, taking third.[6] Gary D'Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called the race "perhaps the most thrilling race of the trials".[12]

At the Olympics, Lehman placed 16th in the 5000 meters with a time of 6:29.94.[2] 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.[3]

Lehman trains at the Pettit National Ice Center, and is coached by Eric Cepuran. He is a member of the Franklin Park Speedskating Club.[1]

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.[13] 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.[14][15]


Lehman also plays lacrosse competitively, serving as a midfielder.[8] During the summers, he plays on an elite travel team in Illinois. As a freshman in high school, he was the team captain.[1] 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.[8] He is a member of Marquette's Club Lacrosse team in his off season to stay in shape.

Personal bests[edit]

Personal records[11]
Men's speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
500 m 36.78 March 18, 2017 Calgary Olympic Oval, Calgary
1000 m 1:10.90 January 3, 2018 Pettit National Ice Center, Milwaukee
1500 m 1:46.22 October 14, 2017 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City
3000 m 3:46.09 August 26, 2017 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City [16]
5000 m 6:18.03 December 1, 2017 Calgary Olympic Oval, Calgary [16]
10000 m 13:22.77 January 1, 2014 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City [16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Emery Lehman: US Speedskating". Team USA. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Athletes: Emery Lehman". Sochi 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Wes Venteicher (February 25, 2014). "Friends, family prepare to welcome home Oak Park Olympian". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  4. ^ Ari Feldman (February 7, 2018). "Meet The Jews Going To The Winter Olympics In South Korea," The Forward.
  5. ^ a b "#teamjoe Athlete – Emery Lehman", http://waterjoe.com.
  6. ^ a b c d "U.S. teen earns second Olympic event at speedskating trials". USA Today. AP. January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Beth Harris (December 28, 2013). "High schooler Emery Lehman earns Olympic berth". The Wichita Eagle. AP. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e Philip Hersh (November 15, 2012). "Precocious speedskater ahead of his time". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Rich Martin (November 19, 2013). "Emery Lehman speeding toward Olympic Trials". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  10. ^ Brad Spencer (February 21, 2012). "Oak Park teen a driven and determined speed skater". Wednesday Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c "Emery Lehman". SpeedSkatingResults.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  12. ^ Gary D'Amato (January 1, 2014). "Emery Lehman comes from behind to win 10,000-meter race". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  13. ^ "Oak Park speed skater Emery Lehman places 21st in Olympic 5,000 meters" - Oak Leaves
  14. ^ "Lehman finishes Olympics with eighth place finish in team pursuit" – Marquette Wire
  15. ^ "South Koreans, Dutch lead team pursuit; Team USA last" - Chicago Tribune
  16. ^ a b c "National Records – United States (USA)". SpeedSkatingResults.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014.

External links[edit]