Minnesota couple involved in Olympics

Published 1:38 pm Sunday, February 11, 2018

ST. JOSEPH — A central Minnesota couple will be involved in speed skating at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, this month.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joel Shobe will serve as medical adviser for short track speed skating, while Susan Shobe will be a referee for speed skating.

Joel Shobe has spent more than 20 years at St. Cloud Orthopedics. He’ll mainly be supervising anti-doping testing and will also be providing medical care at the venue.

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He is part of a medical commission of eight doctors from around the world who are assigned to cover all major championships and world cup events.

“This is a great opportunity,” he said. “To be in that environment and around those athletes, it’s going to be pretty special.”

Susan Shobe was the St. Cloud State University’s Nordic skiing coach from 1998-2006. Her family’s history in speed skating sparked her interest.

“My dad was in the speed skating Olympics three times and was a referee in the Olympics, so I got to go when I was young. And my cousin (Amy Peterson) actually held the flag in Sochi (in 2014),” she said. “I’ve always wanted to do this.”

Susan Shobe is one of the first women to be a championship referee for a men’s event.

“I’ve been a referee on the list (to go to the Olympics) for 20 years, but they never pick women, so it’s a huge honor to be picked,” she said.

The couple belongs to the International Skating Union, an international sports federation that administers ice skating sports.

The Winter Olympics began last week and will conclude Feb. 25.