Athlete Ed Kastern of Oshkosh Special Olympics had a unique opportunity recently when he was able to to interview Olympic silver medalist Brian Hansen for the upcoming Fall Outdoor Virtual Celebration taking place on October 14 and 15. Kastern’s interview will debut on Special Olympics Wisconsin’s Facebook and YouTube pages on Thursday, October 15 at 6 p.m.
Hansen represented Team USA in speed skating at the Winter Olympics in 2010, 2014 and 2018 before retiring and transitioning into coaching. In 2010 Hansen earned a silver medal in men’s team pursuit in Vancouver.
Kastern was the perfect Special Olympics Wisconsin athlete to conduct the virtual interview with such an accomplished athlete, as Kastern has now produced nearly 50 episodes of his talk show, Making It Happen, on Oshkosh public access television.
Hansen, an Illinois native who now lives in Milwaukee, was impressed by Kastern’s interviewing skills and background research.
“Very impressive. Good research, Ed,” Hansen said after the interview concluded.
Over the course of the roughly 30-minute interview, the two touched on a variety of topics like Hansen’s background in speed skating, the rigors of training your body and mind for elite competition, competing with his childhood idols, how Hansen has dealt with the pandemic, and what’s next on the horizon for the now-retired athlete.
Kastern also talked with Hansen about his knowledge of Special Olympics and asked if he’d like to volunteer with Special Olympics Wisconsin.
“Could we ever persuade you to volunteer sometime?” Kastern asked. “Absolutely. Yes,” Hansen replied. “Please don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know about some events or whatever you guys have coming up.”
Since debuting in 2018, Kastern has won two awards for his show where he chats with community members. Guests have ranged from UW-Oshkosh athletes or coaches, to first responders, to members of the business community, or even fellow Special Olympics athletes.
In a recent popular episode Kastern was even able to interview American Idol contestant Franki Moscato.
Kastern is also a member of Special Olympics Wisconsin’s Athlete Input Council.
You can see Kastern’s full interview with Brian Hansen by tuning in to our Fall Outdoor Virtual Celebration on October 15!