Skate Mania isn’t much different than it was two decades ago when Erin Jackson first walked in. The sprawling wooden floor beneath fluorescent lights; the smell of brown leather roller skates; the snack bar; and the same teenage dreams inside four walls of painted cement and corrugated aluminum.

There’s little to suggest this timeworn roller skating rink on the outskirts of Ocala, Florida, is where one of the most compelling stories of this year’s Beijing Winter Olympics all began. Or that this small town in the thick of horse country has become the speed skating capital of America. Jackson plays a big role in that. Read More