Grafton High grad willing to go the distance for speedskating

Michael Salm will run the Chicago Marathon in an effort to raise $30K for organization he helps lead
Ozaukee Press staff

How far is Grafton High School alumnus Michael Salm willing to go to support speedskating?

It looks like about 26.2 miles.

Salm, the chief business officer for Developing Athletes in Speed skating for High Performance (DASH), which  is headquartered at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, is running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 9, with a goal of raising $30,000 for the nonprofit organization.

He has raised $8,500 as of Tuesday.

Salm, whose brother Matt competed in the U.S. Olympic trials in spring in the 500 and 1,000-meter races after training with DASH, is no stranger to sports.

He tried track and field in high school but got mono. He played soccer for the Black Hawks, then for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, which at one point was ranked No. 7 in the country.

Salm has completed a half marathon. The full version is a different animal, but he jumped at the chance to support DASH.

“Someone said maybe you could run a marathon to do some fundraising,” Salm said, “and then I started running and realized you do have to run the marathon.”

He completed 20 miles on Sunday. His 19th mile took 7 minutes, 30 seconds and his 20th took 6:35.

“The first 18 miles were much slower, but I had a lot left in the tank,” he said.

Salm joined DASH in the summer of 2021 after serving as deputy athletic director and chief of staff for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He holds degrees from UW-Whitwater in health and human performance, chemistry and coaching and has a degree in legal studies from the Allan “Bud” Selig Master of Sports Law and Business program from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

His younger brother Matt convinced him to join DASH.

“Speed skating is the winningest Olympic sport in U.S. history. To play a role in that revitalization, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” he said.

DASH’s president is Dave Cruikshank, a four-time winter Olympian and member of the Speed Skating Hall of Fame who also works as a skating coach for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. His wife is five-time Olympic gold medalist Bonnie Blair.

“They are the epitome of servant leaders,” Salm said.

Several Olympic champions are DASH ambassadors, including Dan Jansen, Chris Witty and Casey FitzRandolph, who are trying to revitalize speed skating in southeast Wisconsin.

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