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Speedskating Merger Approved

June 25, 2001

WESTLAKE, Ohio (AP) _ U.S. Speedskating, the national governing body for the sport, will merge with the Amateur Speedskating Union.

The merger, effective March 2002, was unanimously approved by the memberships of both organization.

The ASU was formed in 1927. In 1966, a small group of speedskating enthusiasts left the ASU and formed the United States International Speedskating Association, which adopted the name U.S. Speedskating in 1993.

``I’m positive that with one unified skating organization behind them, with all resources being pooled, with all the talented and caring volunteers ... this unity will manifest in more successes from the grass roots level of recruitment and training all the way to the elite and Olympic level skaters,″ U.S. Speedskating president Fred Benjamin said.

ASU president Duane Riley agreed.

``The development of the sport should prosper, which in turn will benefit the elite level,″ Riley said. ``It is a win-win situation for the sport.″