Courtneys find new match
World champion roller skaters, Jack and Sheryl Courtney, speak to the audience after being inducted to the Grant County Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon at the Star Financial Grant County YMCA.
Elaine Moore / firstname.lastname@example.org
Roller skating champs reconnect after 30 years
By Chuck Landis
Published: Monday, April 11, 2011 2:05 AM EDT
Jack Courtney and Sheryl (Trueman) Courtney were the perfect roller skating partners, and they eventually became perfect life partners.
It just took them 30 years to realize their connection went beyond the skating rink.
The Courtneys were among 10 individuals who joined the Grant County Athletic Hall of Fame during Sunday afternoon’s induction ceremony at the STAR Financial YMCA. The unbeaten 1969 and ’70 Oak Hill football teams also were part of the third class to enter the hall.
“It’s very humbling that 43 years later that you are still recognized in your home community,” said Jack Courtney, who traveled with his wife from Colorado Springs, Colo., for the induction. As roller skating pairs partners, Courtney and Trueman dominated their sport during the mid-to-late 1960s. They were multi-time U.S. national champions and won the pairs championship at the 1968 World Championships in Vigo, Spain.
After achieving everything possible in roller skating, Courtney and Trueman made the move to ice figure skating. In 1971, Trueman returned to roller skating while Courtney continued in ice skating with a new partner.
Both went on to live their lives, Trueman said, continuing to achieve success in their respective sports and eventually married different people. They had even settled in Colorado Springs with their spouses but had little contact with each other.
“We had known each other since we were very young but had grown apart,” Sheryl Courtney said. “We had lived our lives (in Colorado Springs) for 15 years without really seeing each other.
“But I had a friend in Marion who got us reunited through the internet,” she continued. “We were both going through divorces at the same time, and then one thing led to another.”
So Courtney and Trueman, who had dated as teenagers, finally culminated their relationship with marriage in 2003. Yet, their partnership actually dates back to 1961 when Courtney and Trueman, then ages nine and six, started skating together at the Idyl Wyld roller rink that Trueman’s parents owned.
“I’ll tell you, she was just the hottest thing going,” Jack Courtney told the crowd of more than 300 while Sheryl Courtney tried to hide her embarrassment.