Listen to Hoosier History Live! at 11:30 a.m. each Saturday on WICR 88.7 FM. You also can listen online at the WICR website during the broadcast. And, beginning Feb. 6 you will be able to join a listening group at Bookmama's in Irvington to listen to, and discuss, the Saturday show.
This week's show
Jan. 23 - Wayne and Kim Seybold on Winter Olympics and Hoosier links
The Vancouver Winter Olympics will kick off next month, and who better to explore Winter Olympians with Indiana connections than the brother-and-sister figure-skating duo who became the most famous of that illustrious group, even though they didn’t win a medal? Wayne and Kim Seybold certainly put their hometown of Marion in the national spotlight with their quest to compete in the 1988 Calgary Olympics, a story that involved hard luck, family sacrifices, a town that rallied to support them, and overwhelming health crises that persisted long after their heyday as Olympians.
Fans of the Seybolds will recall many of the basics, including how their family lived for years in a trailer park so their devoted parents could save money for coaches, costumes and travel expenses for Wayne and Kim as they made long daily commutes across the state for lessons. Then there were the three scares with brain tumors for Kim (officially known as Natalie, her given name); she learned of the second health crisis the day after Wayne and Kim carried the Olympic torch in Indiana as the flame passed through en route to the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
Beginning more than 22 years ago when the Seybolds were pursing their Olympic dream - and continuing through their post-Calgary career as touring professionals in shows with ice skating’s top names - Nelson covered their story for the Indianapolis Star and News. (Wayne and Kim are featured in his books about famous Hoosiers.)
And today? Wayne is mayor of Marion, where the Seybolds remain hometown heroes. Kim lives in the Fishers area, coaches at the Carmel Ice Skadium, married a former hockey player and is the mother of two young daughters. (The youngest was just a few months old when her mother was diagnosed with the second brain tumor.)
Known for their warm personalities, the Seybolds will join Nelson not only to explore the joys and struggles intertwined with their personal Olympic story, but also to share details about other Hoosiers who have competed in previous Winter Olympics. Granted, there have not been many – in fact, fewer than a dozen since the debut of the Olympic Winter Games in 1924. It’s not as though mountains, luge and bobsled runs, and speedskating coaches are plentiful in Indiana.
Even top-level figure skating arenas and coaches were not abundant here when Wayne and Kim (who are 46 and 44. respectively) began chasing their dream as kids. Not only did the Seybolds live in a trailer during most of their years of training, they received donations from residents and businesses of Marion (think bake sales and car washes), which put their hometown in the spotlight during ABC Sports coverage of the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
The Marion High School graduates finished 10th in pairs skating, a result that drew criticism of the judging from many analysts (not just Hoosier fans of the brother and sister), but their popularity was such that Wayne and Kim were able to carve out careers as professional skaters in touring shows for several years before returning to Indiana. Campaigning as a Republican, Wayne was elected mayor of Marion in 2003 and has kept up a jammed itinerary of overseas trips as he courts jobs to replace those lost to economic downturns.
While the Seybolds were still touring as skaters – and performing a routine known as the “death spiral” in which Wayne swung Kim inches above the ice – she began experiencing spells of dizziness and blurred vision. After being diagnosed with the type of brain tumor that may reoccur throughout her life, Kim underwent her first surgery – which involved temporarily removing an eye so the surgeons could extract the tumor – in 1995. She eventually married former pro hockey player Mark Catron (Wayne’s former roommate) and began coaching. The need for a second surgery was discovered in January 2002, the day after Wayne and Kim served as Olympic torchbearers in a ceremony on Monument Circle. That surgery, which went well, occurred 14 years to the day after Wayne and Kim, now known as Kim Seybold-Catron, performed their short program in Calgary. Kim underwent brain surgery for the third time in May 2007.
Others with Hoosier roots who have competed in the Winter Olympics include:
- Pairs skater Jill Watson, who grew up in Bloomington and won a bronze medal with her partner Peter Oppegard in the 1988 Calgary Olympics that also featured the Seybolds. Jill Watson also competed in the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, finishing sixth.
- Zionsville native John-Michael Liles, a member of the U.S. hockey team at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Today, John-Michael, who attended Culver Military Academy, plays for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League and is a minority owner of the Indiana Ice.
- Bobsledder Dick Nalley of Indianapolis, who finished fifth at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. A member of the U Indy Athletics Hall of Fame, Dick became an Indianapolis firefighter after the Olympics. He died of cancer at age 47 in 2002.
- Bryan Leturgez of Cedar Lake, another bobsledder. A graduate of Indiana State University, Bryan made the U.S. bobsledding team in three straight Winter Games: the 1992 Albertville Olympics, the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics and the 1998 Nagano Olympics. An Olympics buff, Nelson periodically interviewed Bryan, Dick Nalley and others. He’s looking forward to his on-air reunion with the Seybolds.
History Mystery question
A national Hall of Fame that has nothing to do with sports is located in Marion, Indiana. This Hall of Fame is in a Colonial Revival house and celebrates a domestic art.
Question: Name the Hall of Fame.
The call-in number for the correct answer is (317) 788-3314, and the prize is a pair of tickets to the Eiteljorg Museum.
According to Roadtripper Chris Gahl of the ICVA, the internationally renowned performing group Cirque du Soleil is coming to Indy February 11 to 14, performing seven shows entitled Alegria at Conseco Fieldhouse. From a group of 20 street performers in 1984 Quebec, the group has grown to a major performing-arts troupe with more than 1,000 performing artists. If you enjoy live theater, live music and the circus on steroids, Cirque du Soleil at Conseco Fieldhouse is a Roadtrip you won’t want to miss.
Your friends in Hoosierdom,
Nelson Price, host and creative director
Molly Armstrong Head, producer, (317) 927-9101
Richard Sullivan, tech and web director
Garry Chilluffo, online editor
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Hoosier History Live! celebrates two years on the air
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Jan. 30 - Abe Lincoln blockbuster preview
We don’t stretch historic truths – particularly if "Honest Abe" is involved – so it’s no overstatement to predict an upcoming unveiling of the Lincoln treasures newly acquired by the Indiana State Museum – paired with a traveling display of Lincoln artifacts from the Library of Congress – will be the blockbuster exhibit of 2010 in the Hoosier state.
Where else are you going to see the Bible on which President Lincoln (and, just last year, Barack Obama) took the oath of office? Our guest will be the Hoosier expert who has been immersed in all things Lincoln ever since the announcement that much of the $20 million collection of the now-closed Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne would remain in the Hoosier state, where Lincoln lived from ages 7 to 21. Dale Ogden, chief curator of cultural history at the state museum, has been burning the midnight oil to set up the exhibit called With Charity for All: The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, which opens Feb. 12 along with the Library of Congress' traveling exhibit.
Dale will share folklore about – and guide us through – the trove, which includes a hand-written copy of Lincoln’s inaugural address, the last portrait Lincoln sat for, and rare signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation. Dale and his crew even have arranged for famous Hoosiers, ranging from NASCAR driver Tony Stewart and WNBA star Tamika Catchings to astronaut David Wolf, to cut videos for a Lincoln trivia kiosk.
Dale’s visit to Hoosier History Live! comes on the heels of the announcement that $7 million has been raised in just six months to care for the state museum’s large collection of Lincoln artifacts, which includes the chair in which the "Great Emancipator" sat for some of his most famous photographs. (Part of the collection from the Fort Wayne museum will be housed at the Allen County Public Library.)
There’s info about With Charity for All, which will be a timed-ticket exhibit, at www.indianamuseum.org.
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