TTUISD graduate Jordan Malone makes his Olympic speed skating debut this year in Vancouver.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Search.
When Olympic speed skater Jordan Malone competes as part of the men’s 5,000-meter
relay team on Feb. 26, it may be the last time he participates with skating legend
Apolo Ohno, who may end his career with this competition.
Though Malone did not compete in the semifinals on Feb. 17, the former Texas Tech
University Independent School District (TTUISD) student still has a chance to win
a gold medal.
Malone, a native of Denton, makes his Olympic debut in Vancouver this year, beginning
with short track after a hugely successful inline skating career.
Named the Fastest Man in the World for inline speed skating in 2003, he has since
made the switch to ice speed skating, competing in the past five world championships
and earning top-10 rankings overall in world competitions.
Malone said watching former inline skater Ohno compete as an ice skater in the 2002
Winter Olympics inspired the change, though he decided to achieve all he could with
inline before making the switch.
His life has taken him around the world to more than 154 different cities in 18 different
countries on four different continents. Constant competition made attending a typical
high school out of the question.
To receive his high school degree, Malone said he chose to attend TTUISD after hearing
about it from some friends. The distance-education program within the University College
of Texas Tech University offered Malone the flexibility and convenience he needed
as a full-time athlete and student. He graduated in November 2008.
Established in 1993, TTUISD is the only accredited distance-learning, kindergarten-through-12th
grade diploma program in Texas. It offers a rigorous high school curriculum through
a combination of print-based and electronic courses. During 2008-2009, TTUISD reached
a record enrollment number of 1,802 full-time students.
Alumni include former Miss Texas Morgan Matlock; Sarah LeMaire, who plays Sarah Moody
on “The Wannabes Starring Savvy
;” “Friday Night Lights
” star Jesse Plemons; and Hunter Parrish, seen on the Showtime series “Weeds
” and featured in the Hilary Swank movie “Freedom Writers
Though he has put his education on hold, Malone plans to go to college and get an
engineering degree. When he is not practicing, Malone runs his own business out of
his garage under the name Full Composite Racing (FCR), where he manufactures carbon
fiber protective racing equipment for 80 percent of the Short Track National Team.
“It is a fun hobby to have on the side,” he said. “It’s a self-taught, independent
venture and I’m working with some pretty impressive aerospace materials. This is part
of my road to becoming an engineer after skating.”
Stephanie Schettek and Anna Woodlock contributed to this report.
TTU K-12 is an accredited school promoting student success – anytime, anywhere – using innovative
online technologies, rigorous and reputable curriculum, excellent state-certified
teacher instruction and quality customer service. The fully online school is accredited
by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and the high school courses are approved by the
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The elementary, middle and high school
options meet the same standards as traditional schools, but have no physical location
or limitations. Upon graduation, students receive an official Texas high school diploma.
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