The heat box is where the nerves start to come on strong for what’s to come. It’s essentially the place to wait before she steps onto the ice.
To ease her mind with all the chaos is going on – the cheering and all the commotion – she put on her headphones, usually consumed with Taylor Swift songs.
Next step – is onto the ice.
After getting warmed up by taking some laps, the starting line emerges. The gun is fired and Molly Turco takes off.
“I am hoping to be in the Olympics some day,” she said.
This sophomore at Castleton University is a small town girl striving for a bit time future.
Not long ago, she found herself up against current Olympian Jessica Smith, the number one in the country right now.
“She beat me pretty bad in my opinion, she was like a lap ahead of me, but I completed against her,” Turco said.
If all goes as planned, 2022 is when she is determined to make it into the Olympics, which means being part of the 2018 tryouts.
Her road to the rink all started with the Green Mountain Club. Without them she never would have started her speed skating career.
Tom Miller is her main coach and he helps her with much of her training. He even takes her to some of her races. They have known one another for over five years, but have been working together more seriously for two-and-a-half years.
Turco’s weakness, he said, is that she started speed skating later than most of the competitors that she’s skated against.
“So it has been a trial and error to get her caught up,” Miller said, adding however, that Turco is a very determined individual.
Saratoga Winter Club is mainly where Turco trains these days with Paul Marchese as her coach at this facility. Marchese actually made her skates for her, like he has done for other well-known skaters.
What is today a minor set back for Turco – occurred about two years ago when the skating season was ending and spring was starting. For a year though, it wasn’t so minor.
It all started when she said she broke out with “hives everywhere.” Her mother, Tammie, said it was really terrible.
“She couldn’t really even walk up a flight of stairs,” she said.
After a bunch of doctor’s visits, they finally figured out the issue and she was diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation syndrome, essentially a severe allergic reaction..
That was her senior year of high school too.
“With the allergies came asthma. It started as hives,” she explained, “but then it turned into asthma attacks. I have athletic induced asthma and allergy induced asthma.”
Her family owns a cow that she used to compete with and a horse, and she’s now allergic to both. Luckily, she hasn’t had a bad episode of asthma recently because she is always good about taking her medications before practices and races.
Turco is currently a global studies major, but is switching to business. When she isn’t training or studying, she works at Price Chopper at the customer service desk as a supervisor.
She also loves music and she said by seventh grade, she could play the original version of Beethoven’s Fur Elise.
Before she races she prays – and then she does so again after her races – whether they went well or not.
When asked whom she idolizes, she paused to consider the question. She then went on to say that she tries not to idolize anyone because she believes it creates a mental block.
“I used to be really big into like, ‘oh my gosh that skater, I want to be just like her,’ but then I found it kind of holds me back,” she said. “There was a skater I skated against and I thought she was just the best skater ever and now I’m at her level and I’m potentially going to be beating her.”