Kettering University Graduate Inspires Innovation As 'Freedom Skater,' Traveling Country In Roller Blades And Cape

FLINT, Michigan — Austin Szelkowski is traveling across the country with an American flag, in-line skates and a cape.

He’s been mistaken for Captain America, blends right in with the diverse crowds of Manhattan and has been called “crazy” by friends back home in Michigan.

But the recent Kettering University mechanical engineering graduate, whose ensemble also includes a crash helmet, wrist guards and bright red shorts, prefers the title “Freedom Skater.”

The 24-year-old’s quest: to inspire his generation to be pioneers, chase dreams and blaze their own trails — a message he plans to deliver on skates.

The Fowlerville native started a 3,000-mile journey from the Statue of Liberty last month, planning to “skate across America” on a yearlong, town-to-town crusade to give inspirational speeches about pursuing passions without fear.

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