The first time Brian Hansen put on a pair of skates, he knew one thing: He liked to go fast. That led him to the Northbrook skate club, where as a youth, he looked up to fellow Chicagoan Shani Davis and mastered the art of the sport.
After an improbable silver medal in Vancouver in the team pursuit, Hansen now expects to reach the medal stand in Sochi as an individual all while competing "against" his boyhood idol. If the 23-year-old's World Cup success translates to the 2014 Olympic Games, he should meet that expectation. Hansen earned a gold medal at this year's U.S. Championships in the 1500-meter, and won his first World Cup gold medal in the 1000.
Prior to missing the final two World Cup events to train solely for Sochi, Hansen was tied with Davis for most World Cup medals, breaking his own personal best times in the 1000 and 1500.
Be sure to catch "Quest for Gold 2014," a 30-minute special highlighting gold-medal hopefuls heading to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, airing at 7 p.m. on Dec. 25 on Comcast SportsNet.