In the world of speedskating, a few milliseconds can mean the difference between a gold medal or going home empty handed. Every aspect of a skater’s gear needs to be optimized for performance and durability to ensure the athlete is unhindered.

Speedskating forever changed at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan with the introduction of clap skates, making them essential to stay competitive. Instead of a traditional fixed blade, clap skates feature a hinged blade attached to the boot’s toe. By moving the point of rotation back from the tip of the blade, the power transfer to the ice is drastically improved.

Prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Butch Pearson contacted Spiros to help design a custom torsion spring for clap skates. After analyzing its properties and functions, Spiros decided to cryogenically treat the spring. The result was a spring that could outperform and outlast the competition.

In 2014, Emery Lehman wore them to the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. During the U.S. Olympic trials Lehman came from behind to beat Jonathan Kuck by just 0.07 seconds, earning himself the only U.S. starting spot in the 10,000-meter race. Although only 17 years old and racing in his first Olympic games, the young Chicago native proved himself to be world class with a 10th place finish in the 10,000-meter race and a 16th place in the 5,000. The future is certainly bright for this level-headed young racer, particularly when considering that this was only his 6th or 7th time racing at the 10,000 meter distance. Great effort at the Olympics Emery, Spiros is proud to be with you every stride.

At Spiros, problem-solving is simply part of being a value-added supplier.

Read more about Emery’s path to the Olympics in the Journal Sentinel

Speed Skating Custom Spring

Clap Skate Front Hinge

Clap Skate Torsion Spring

Spiros Custom Torsion Spring

Emery Lehman Custom Torsion Springs

Emery Lehman