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Dessie Weigel

United States

SportSpeed Skating
NOCUnited States
Born16 Oct 1994
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Reason for choosing this sportShe was a promising cross-country athlete at high school but began experiencing severe pain in her calves. Doctors diagnosed her with a condition that means her muscles produce excess lactic acid, so she quit running and took up pole vault and then cycling. She moved on to speed skating because it was a sport she had always been interested in. "I had told anyone who would listen since I was a kid that I was going to be a speed skater. I was 23 and I hadn't stumbled into speed skating yet, so I had to go and find it."  
When and where did you begin this sport?In October 2017 she moved to Salt Lake City, UT, United States of America, and signed up for a 'Learn to Speed Skate' class.  
General Interest
General Interest
InjuriesShe was diagnosed with mitochondrial myopathy while she was in high school. The condition causes her muscles to produce excess lactic acid and forced her to quit cross-country running. (, 26 Mar 2020)  
Other sportsAs a high school student she competed in cross-country running at state level in the United States of America. (, 26 Mar 2020)  
Other informationMEDICAL CONDITION
She was a promising cross-country runner at high school but she began experiencing severe pain in her calves after races and training sessions. She saw a number of doctors who were unable to tell her what the problem was, before a muscular dystrophy specialist did a biopsy on some muscle taken from her thigh and diagnosed her with mitochondrial myopathy. "My muscles go into anaerobic respiration really quickly because they're not getting enough energy. The by product of that is lactic acid. In high concentrations over long periods of time, lactic acid eats away muscle tissue. My calves were just getting constantly flooded with lactic acid and dissolving the muscle. There is no cure, no treatment." (, 26 Mar 2020)

Although speed skating was something she had always wanted to do, she did not take up the sport until she was age 23. She had moved to Salt Lake City, UT, United States of America, and signed up for a 'Learn to Speed Skate' class for people aged five and up. "I started out with very young children and some middle-aged folks who wanted an activity to stay fit. From there I joined a club team, where we would practise in the evenings. That was a mix of alternating days between long track and short track. After part of the season doing that, I was invited to join the FAST [Facilitated Athlete Sport Training] Team which is a stepping stone development team for the national team." (, 26 Mar 2020)
World Cups
Year Competition Event Rank  
World Cups
    2021/2022 World Cup Four Continents Championships Team Pursuit1  
    2021/2022 World Cup Four Continents Championships Mass Start3  
    2021/2022 World Cup Mass Start15  
    2021/2022 World Cup 3000/5000m38