The Amateur Speedskating Union of the United States (ASU) formerly the Amateur Skating Union of the United States was the successor to the American Skating Congress (established in 1868) and the International Skating Union of America (established in 1907). The purpose of the International Skating Union was, in part, to “regulate and control skating contests throughout the United States and Canada and between the two countries”. The International Skating Union of America was dissolved in 1927 and was succeeded by the ASU as the governing body over skating sport in the United States. In their capacity as the governing body for speed skating, the International Skating Union of America, and later the ASU sanctioned and conducted “Outdoor” (Long Track) National and North American Age Class Championships beginning in 1891 for men and 1921 for women and Short Track National Age Class Championships beginning in 1906 for men and 1921 for women.
Distinctive medallions were awarded to the Long Track and Short Track National Age Class Champions and North American Age Class Champions when the competitions were held in the U.S. Distinctive medals were awarded for the first through fourth place finishers in the individual distance events. Names of the winners of the medallions include numerous U.S Olympic team members.
In 1976 the ASU embarked on a program to fund the purchase of National and North American Age Class Championship medallions and medals through the sale of sponsorships. In exchange, contributors to the Medallion Fund were given the right to designate a Medallion Award for a particular class in the name of a person or organization. Contributors to the Medal Fund were given the right to designate a set of medals for a particular class in the name of a person or organization. The particular class was to continue to be awarded the Medallions or Medals in the same name so long as the Fund was in existence.
In 2001 prior to the merger of the ASU and US Speedskating, control of the Medallion/Medal fund was transferred to the ASU Foundation. Following the merger in 2002, US Speedskating assumed the responsibility of sanctioning and conducting the Long Track and Short Track National Age Class Championships. When North American competition ended, sponsors of North American Medallions and Medals were given the opportunity to transfer their sponsorship to available National age classes.
Institutional, organizational, and staff changes at US Speedskating since 2002 resulted in changes to the National Age Class Championship competition to such an extent that the ASU Foundation has found it necessary to suspend its financial support for the purchase of medallions and medals for these meets. To continue to honor the medallion and medal sponsors, the ASU Foundation Board of Directors has decided to award an academic scholarship for post-secondary education to a Long Track or Short Track National Age Class competitor who meets the qualifications given in the application and best represents the traditions of sportsmanship, citizenship, and academic excellence that were hallmarks of the ASU.