John

John "Jack" Burns

Speedskating

Enshrined: 1998

Born: 1919, Syracuse, NY

Died: December 25, 2007

Jack Byrne was known for his many contributions to the sport of speedskating and is a member of the U.S. Speedskating Hall of Fame.

Byrne starting speedskating at the age of 12. He won many skating events and titles in his youth and continued skating at Holy Cross College. He skated competitively until he retired in 1974.

Byrne’s affection for the sport kept him involved in the governing bodies of speedskating including the board of directors of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). Byrne served as a U.S. assistant coach in five winter Olympic Games (Lake Placid '80, Sarajevo '84, Calgary '88, Albertville '90 and Lillehammer '94). He was also president of U.S. Speedskating Association and Northern New York Speedskating Association .

Byrne was a part owner at Byrne Dairy and served as president from 1946 until 1972. He was an avid golfer and a member of Bellevue Country Club for over 40 years, where he was on the board of directors and was president in 1967.

His daughter, Gretchen, a top-notch golfer and national-level speed skater, was inducted into the Greater Syracuse Hall of Fame in 1992.

Career highlights:

1937: Wins 220-yard championship during last season competition at Holy Cross College

1970-1975: Referee for Northern New York Skating Association

1973: Assistant National Referee for U.S. Speedskating

1974-1975: President of the Northern New York Skating Association along with working as a referee, also in 1979-80

1980-1989: Served as president of USISA

1984-1989: Serves as President of U.S. Speedskating Association and Northern New York Speedskating Association

1994: Elected into the U.S. Speedskating Hall of Fame at Schaumburg, Illinois

Other achievements: Served on Board of Directors for US International Skating Hall of Fame in Schaumburg, Ill.; Served as team manager for the 1984 and 1988 Olympics and was a member of the USOC Administrative Board at the 1992 Games

 

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