Michigan's Jessica Smith struggles in 1st Olympic event

Jessica Smith of Melvindale driven to do well in her next 2 events

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It was a rough start for Melvindale's Jessica Smith during the qualifications for the 500-meter race in short track speed skating.

Smith wiped out during her heat and failed to qualify for the next round in this event. She did get up after falling and finished her race.

Her inline speed skating coach from Detroit, Robb Dunn, is in Sochi, Russia to see Smith and Clinton Township's Kelly Gunther compete in speed skating.

"Tough start for Jess," said Dunn. "That's why it is good she made it in all three distances. I know this girl well. She will be back and ready to rock next race."

Smith's family, her parents Rick and Reina Smith and her younger brother Travis are also with her. 

Travis Smith tells Local 4 Monday's race is just giving his sister more drive for her next two races.

Slideshow: Smith family shares pictures of sights in Sochi

Smith, 30, will compete in the 1000-meters and 1500-meters short track speed skating races.

Smith got her start in inline speed skating before switching to short track speed skating to compete at the Olympic level.

Inline speed skating is not an Olympic sport.   She also played ice hockey to help with her inline skating training.

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