Elite Sports & Culture Week spotlight: Wayne Seybold

If the Olympics are the story of everyday athletes becoming legends, Wayne and Kim Seybold may be one of the best examples you’ll hear.

They didn’t have the best resources. They didn’t have the best facilities. They didn’t have an inside track. What they did have was the support of their family and community. They also had commitments and dreams. Almost daily, they’d commute from Marion, Indiana, to Fort Wayne.

Ice was hard to come by in northern Indiana and finding rink time was even more of a challenge. As soon as the school bell rang, they’d jump in car and do homework as they made the 90-minute trek to a small rink. Under the glow of a dome light, they’d repeat their studies, and if they were lucky, they’d get a full night’s sleep. For years they continued the routine, until they needed more experienced coaches and moved to Delaware.

That never was as evident than at the 1988 games in Calgary. An ABC reporter acknowledged they didn’t even have a house, but lived in a mobile home. Undaunted, the Seybold parents simply replied they had made an investment in their kids.

When family funds were stretched thin, the Seybold duo was all but ready to give up their Olympic dreams. That’s when friends and neighbors — and local businesses — pitched in with thousands of dollars to help bankroll their training. They raised nearly $40,000 dollars in the year leading up to the 1988 Olympics.

After his Olympic career, Wayne, along with Kim, toured as a professional skater and later as a manager. He returned to Marion, where he was a member of city council and served three terms as mayor.

Kim continues to teach as a professional skating coach in Delaware and is a brain tumor survivor of 18 years.

Wayne is to be among the 20-plus athletes and coaches, including Olympians and Paralympians, to be in the Tiffin area Oct. 23-25 for Elite Sport and Culture Week hosted by Tiffin University, Mercy Health – Tiffin Hospital, Terra State Community College and National Machinery LLC. For more information on Elite Sport & Culture Week and to learn how to earn a sport bag and a picture with an Olympian, visit

tiffin.edu/elite.

— submitted by Tiffin University

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