With the first event of the National SpeedSkating Circuits 5th season right around the corner, Miguel Jose has been very busy. On January 18th, the top pro inline speed skaters will begin their quest to be crowned Grand Champion of the NSC at the Tacoma Armory in Tacoma, Washington. Despite his increasingly hectic schedule, which includes preparing a new venue that will feature a huge new racing floor, PRONSC owner Miguel Jose was kind enough to answer a few of our questions.
Hello, how are you today?
I’m doing good Chris. Thanks for taking the time to interview me about the NSC.
When did you first conceive of the National Speedskating Circuit?
The NSC brand was created in May of 2009 by Joey Mantia and myself.
Where did you get the inspiration for the National Speed Skating League?
I’m not sure if it was inspiration that sparked the formation of the league as much as it was frustration. Skating has never been presented in a way that would attract spectators, which is crazy to me because I believe Inline Speed Skating is the most exciting sport in the world. This frustration lead us to creating a well packaged event that would showcase skating the way we would like to watch it.
Who are some of the key people that helped make the NSC a success?
We have such an amazing team of people that have helped get this business off the ground, but as far as day to day operations we couldn’t function without Ron Palmer and Robin Pfander.
What were some of the obstacles you faced when starting the National Speed Skating League?
All of them lol. Seriously, you wouldn’t be able to comprehend some of the walls we ran into. Like I said, we have an amazing team and everyone on the team always operates with knowing there is a solution to every problem.
Have the top speed skaters been open to joining the National Speedskating Circuit?
I believe we have the best talent that Indoor Speed Skating has to offer.
Has the prize money made a difference in the competition this year?
Prize money makes racing a lot more aggressive. It’s no shock that our sport has not been very lucrative in terms of finances; however we are trying to change that. Although we are far away from paying the athletes what I feel they deserve, the 6k of payouts we give per event sure does help.
How strong is the NSC today and are you surprised at how well this past season went?
We are continuing to grow year by year and I feel 2014 will be our best season yet.
Miguel Jose (left), Olympic Medalist J. R. Celski (Middle), and World Champion Joey Mantia.
Has the fan base changed over the years and are you focused on broadening it?
I’m not sure if the fan base has changed, but it for sure has grown.
I see that you are now offering speed skating clinics, which utilizes pro speed skaters from the National Speed Skating Circuit. Tell us a little about that.
We wanted to offer a way for younger skaters to get the personal time and knowledge from the top pro’s. This is good for the pro’s because they get to make a little money and great for the kids because this knowledge gets them closer to their goal of being in the NSC someday.
How much more can inline speed skating evolve?
You have to remember that the sport is still new. We didn’t start racing on inlines until 1991/92. We still have leaps and bounds before our equipment is perfect and chasing perfection will only continue to increase the speeds.
What is your single favorite moment from a NSC event?
Even though I own and created the league I am a fan above anything else, so my favorite moment would have to be the first time Jeremy Anderson won the flying 100m. Jeremy and I have skated together for 20 years and he is one of my best friends. Watching him win always gives me a sense of accomplishment.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for the National Speedskating Circuit?
Our fantasy league app. We are going to change the way skating has been watched. The app will be done before the first event on Jan 18th so watch out for it.
Where do you envision the National Speedskating Circuit in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
The big picture vision for the NSC is to host the events in Las Vegas in one of the major Casino’s. We colored and numbered the guys with the vision that this sport would be bet on one day.
Preparing the racing floor for first PRONSC event of 2014, at the Tacoma Armory in Tacoma, WA.
As a former skater, how does it feel to be providing a place for young skaters to pursue their dreams?
It’s extremely rewarding. It’s also very humbling that my peers I raced with for the last 20 years supported the vision and agreed to take this journey with us.
As someone who first made his name as a roller speed skater, do you ever get the itch to go out there and compete?
Absolutely. I still train today with some of the best guys in the league. My goals now have changed from personal accomplishments to pushing the next generation of kids to surpass our current pro’s.
If you could give one piece of advice to up and coming speed skaters that might want to go pro, what would it be?
If you are willing to put in the work and believe in yourself, the sky is the limit.
Is there anything you would like to share with the fans of the National Speed Skating Circuit?
Thank you for your support. Please tell all your friends and family about the NSC and we promise to put on a great show for all our fans.
“(NSC National SpeedSkating Circuit) was founded and created by Miguel Jose, a 4 time inline speed skating National Champion, with the intention of commercializing inline speed skating, thus turning it into a professional mainstream American sport. With the help from 28 time World Champion, Joey Mantia, Miguel was able to form an organization strictly for professional inline speed skaters.” – (NSC) National Speed Skating Circuit Website