Person 2 Person: Allison Baver

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Person 2 Person: Allison Baver (Photo provided by Allison Baver)

(KUTV) Allison Baver is an Olympic speed skater, model, and fashion designer.

She started her skating career on roller skates. She grew up with a roller skating rink down the street from her house.

"We would stake and do that rhythm skating thing," she said.

Baver then got into inline skating and became a champion, even competing in the first World Cup for inline speed skating.

"I was just awe-inspired by being the best in the world," said Baver.

She eventually tried ice skating in high school.

"Immediately, I actually didn't really like it. I wasn't very good," said Baver.

But she had a coach that encouraged her to try again and got her parents to buy her blades for Christmas one year.

Baver ended up being the first female speed skater to switch from inline skating to short track speed skating. And as a junior in college, she move to start training for her first Olympics--the 2002 Winter Games.

She remembers being outside Rice Eccles Stadium and seeing the performers getting ready for the Opening Ceremonies.

"It was just a magical moment. Everybody was cheering 'USA!' and that's kind of when it hit me. I was like, 'Ok, this is it,'" she recalled.

Since then, Baver also competed in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games.

About a year before the 2010 Olympics, Baver was in a bad crash while competing for a World Cup title in Bulgaria.

"Someone hit me and I flew into the boards and broke my right leg and ankle and shattered it," described Baver.

She flew back to the United States for an uncommon surgery. Her doctor put a plate for a forearm in her leg.

"A lot of doctors--actually, everybody--thought that surgery wasn't going to work and she really pushed the limit," said Baver of her doctor and the procedure.

Baver was able to make it to the 2010 Olympics and win a bronze medal.

With her speed skating career now wrapped up, Baver has her sights set on another challenge: the fashion industry.

Her new line of active wear, Allison Baver New York, just recently launched.

The fashion line was born because of the clothes she had to wear as an athlete.

"I just felt disempowered as a female wearing some masculine colors, things that weren't very sexy or feminine," she said.

Baver had always been interested in fashion and her mother, a seamstress, encouraged her while she was young.

"She'd take me to the fabric store. I'd help her with the patterns. She would actually make my little speed skating shorts," Baver said. "So then when I started designing on my own I knew all about the fabric, I knew all about the patterns. I knew so much already because my mom had already taught me."

So far, Baver feels that competing in the Olympics is harder than starting your own fashion business "because you're trying to be number one in the world."

But making her comeback to the Olympics after her broken leg has given her confidence to keep pushing herself with her fashion line.

"That was something I pushed myself further than I ever thought was humanly possible," she said. "Because of that, that really empowers me in my day now, because it's like, well if I could do that then maybe there's a shot at being a successful fashion designer."

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