Minneapolis speedskating: Bearcat 8mm film from 1950s

Adam Martin has posted some fun 8mm film footage of the Bearcat American Legion Post speedskating team in Minneapolis from the 1950s on youtube.

Bearcat American Legion Skating Team. Appears to have been taken at Powderhorn Park. (Adam Martin)

Adam’s father—John—and uncles—Jim, Tom and Michael—skated for the Bearcat team, as he related in a recent comment on my first speedskating post.

The Martin brothers who skated for the Bearcat team in mid-1950s. (Adam Martin)

Have a look at that post as well as others on speedskating, then click this link (or the youtube.com link in Adam’s comment):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8ewShuJeEo

The first clips were shot at Powderhorn, I believe, but I don’t recognize where the clips at the end were from. Can anyone identify the other rinks featured — or tell us anything else about the clips Adam has provided?

Thanks, Adam.

David C. Smith

P.S. I just heard from Adam that his uncle identified the last clips as being shot in Winnipeg.

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4 comments so far

  1. Allan Nelson on

    My late wife, Judy Olson, skated for the Bearcats. In the group picture, she is in the front row, 6th from the right, with the long pigtails. She had a US record as a 12 year old. Don’t know exactly why she didn’t pursue the sport further, whether time or cost.??? I know she competed in Winnipeg, maybe Milwaukee also. She was a natural athlete, excelling in all sports (especially basketball and golf) at Roosevelt HS. Her parents had a grocery store a block east of Powderhorn park. Her brother skated also, 4th from right front row. He is a decorated naval pilot, viet nam, and lives in Bloomington. Judy graduated from, and taught at Augsburg, also worked for the Park Board, where we met,when I worked there in 1967. Judy passed away in 2009. She was an exceptional human being.

    • David C. Smith on

      Thanks for the info, Allan. It must have been fun to be a part of that as a kid.

      I was happy today to see Giorgia Birkeland from White Bear Lake skating in the Olympics. She did well for a teenager in her first appearance on the international stage.

  2. John Sorenson on

    My mom, Marilyn Hemsey Sorenson raced for the Powderhorn Skating Club. I have a team picture I found not long ago.

    • David C. Smith on

      I’m sure readers would enjoy seeing the photo. Let me know if you can scan it and send a copy to me.


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