Kenny Sutton

Induction Year


Inductee Type




Muskegon’s Kenny Sutton became a world class champion in speed roller skating in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.  Competing against the world’s best speed skaters, Sutton consistently won gold medals and established new world record times, especially in shorter distances.

Sutton took up competitive roller skating at age 11, racing in local and state events.  By the time he graduated from Muskegon High School in 1978, he had competed in the US Amateur Roller Skating Championships five times, winning top honors in his own age division each time.  He also found time to represent the Big Reds in wrestling and track and field, where he specialized in the 100-yard dash.  In the spring of 1978, just before graduation, he traveled to Argentina to compete in the World Roller Skating Championships where he won some individual speed skating medals and finished fifth overall.

The following year, he represented the USA in the Pan-American games at San Juan, Puerto Rico and became the first American athlete to win a gold medal in that competition.  In fact, he won two golds in 500-meter skating and set a new world record time of 50.01 seconds.  He also claimed a silver medal in the 10,000-meter, two-man relay event.  In 1988, he entered the prestigious World Championships in Italy and was the top US entry in the 300-meter sprint, winning a bronze medal and earning a ranking as the third fastest skater in the world.

Throughout the ’80s, he continued to compete successfully in national and international meets.  Sutton earned six gold medals in national indoor races and three more in outdoor races against US competition.  Against an international field in four Olympic Sports Festivals, he came home with seven gold medals and four bronze.  In his era he was easily the most dominant American speed roller skater – a true champion in his chosen sport.

High School

Muskegon High School 1978