J. R. Celski

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J.R. Celski
Personal information
Birth name John Robert Celski
Born (1990-07-17) July 17, 1990 (age 24)
Monterey, California
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 140 lb (64 kg)
Website www.jrcelski.com
Sport
Country  United States
Sport Speed skating
Event(s) Short track speed skating
Club U.S. National Racing Program

J.R. Celski (/ˈsɛlski/, born July 17, 1990) is an Filipino-American short track speed skater and three-time medalist in the Winter Olympics. Celski holds the World Record in the 500 m (39.937) and is the first person to skate under 40 seconds in this distance.[1] Celski also holds the Junior World Record in the 1000 m with a time of 1:25.304.[2]

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Celski won bronze in the 1500 m and the 5000 m relay. Five months before the Olympics, Celski suffered a gruesome injury when he fell during a race and his right skate blade gashed his left thigh and was uncertain if he would be able to skate again.[3]

Celski's breakthrough performance was at the 2009 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships where he won five medals (two gold, one silver, two bronze). Overall, Celski has won three gold medals, four silver medals, and four bronze medals at the World Championships. He also has one bronze medal at the World Team Championships and four medals (two gold, two bronze) at the World Junior Championships.

Personal life[edit]

Celski was born in Monterey, California where his father Robert Celski was serving in the U.S. Army. He was raised in Federal Way, Washington.[4] His father, Robert, is of Polish descent and his mother, Sue, is of Filipino descent.[5] Celski has two older brothers, Chris and David; David serves as Captain in the United States Army, and Chris is a salesperson at Nordstrom. Celski attended Lakewood High School in Lakewood, California as well as Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way, Washington, graduating from Lakewood with high honors in the Merit Scholars Program.[6] Before switching to speed skating after seeing the 2002 Winter Olympics, Celski was a champion-class in-line skater.[7] He missed the minimum age requirement for the 2006 Winter Olympics by 17 days.[8]

Appearances[edit]

On Tuesday, February 9, 2010 J.R. appeared on the TV show The Biggest Loser where he introduced a pop-challenge to the contestants of the show. During the segment J.R. offered words of encouragement, and showed the contestants how to use a slide board.[9]

On Wednesday, February 5, 2014 J.R. was featured in a one-hour special on NBC television titled How to Raise an Olympian. The program, hosted by Meredith Vieira, chronicles the journeys of seven U.S. Olympians and features interviews from parents and coaches along with home video and photos from each athlete's childhood. The event was broadcast on television with livesocial-media components to further each segment.

Career[edit]

2009 World Junior Championships[edit]

In the 1500 m, Celski won silver behind Um Cheon-Ho with a time of 2:16.780.[10] In his second event, the 500 m, Celski won with a time of 41.462 breaking the previous Junior World Record.[11] Celski finished third overall with 58 points.[12] Celski then combined with Eduardo Alvarez, Jonathan Sermeno, and Robert Lawrence in the 3000 m relay to finish first with a time of 4:06.032.[13]

2009 World Championships[edit]

In the 1500 m, Celski placed third behind Lee Ho-Suk and Kwak Yoon-Gy with a time of 2:14.974.[14] In the 1000 m, Celski placed third behind Lee Ho-Suk and Apolo Ohno with a time of 1:26.348.[15] In his third event, the 3000 m, Celski won with a time of 4:48.444.[16] Celski finished second overall with 65 points.[17] Celski then combined with Ryan Bedford, Jordan Malone, and Apolo Ohno in the 5000 m relay to finish first with a time of 6:51.400.[18]

2010 Winter Olympics[edit]

Trials[edit]

The U.S. Short Track Speed Skating Olympic Trials were held September 8–12, 2009 in Marquette, Michigan. Celski finished second overall and was leading in points after the first two nights of the trials, but was injured during a crash in the semifinals of the 500 m race where his right skate sliced into his left leg; he did not skate in the second 1000 m races. His injury required emergency surgery, 60 stitches, and five months of rehabilitation with the help of Eric Heiden. Celski was unsure if he would ever compete again.[19][20] During the 1000 m time trial, Apolo Ohno, with a personal best of 1:24.500, came in second to Celski, who skated a personal best of 1:23.981. Celski, along with Ohno, Jordan Malone, Travis Jayner and Simon Cho were the top five finishers at the trials.[19] Afterwards, Ohno said about the nominated team: "This is the strongest team we've ever had. I feel really good about how we will do in the next Olympics".[19]

Games[edit]

At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Celski won a pair of bronze medals. One in the 1500 m and another in the 5000 m relay. In the 1500 m final, Celski won the bronze medal after 2006 silver medalist Lee Ho-Suk crashed into fellow Korean skater Sung Si-Bak during the final turn of the last lap.[21] Celski was in fifth place leading into the crash and as a result moved into third place. Apolo Ohno moved into second place.[22] Celski was disqualified in the 1000 m semifinals after knocking Canadian skater Francois Hamelin to the ground.[23] The 5000 m relay team for the United States finished with the bronze medal. The team, consisting of Apolo Ohno, Simon Cho, Travis Jayner, Jordan Malone and Celski, was in the fourth position for the majority of the race.[24] With a strong push from Celski with two laps to go, Ohno as the anchor leg was able to pass the Chinese team for third place; Canada won the gold and South Korea took silver.[25]

2010 World Championships[edit]

Celski advanced to finals of the 1500 m after winning 1st place in the heats, quarterfinals, and semifinals. During the finals, Celski was in the lead with about five laps to go, but in the last few laps, the three Korean skaters managed to overtake him, sweeping the podium with Kwak Yoon-Gy in 1st. Celski finished in 4th place, in front of teammate Travis Jayner, who came in 6th.[26] The next day, Celski competed in the 500 m. During the semifinals, Celski attempted a pass from fourth to third place, but during his pass, François-Louis Tremblay of Canada, in second place at the time, fell, tripping Celski on his way down. Celski finished the race in 3rd, but was then disqualified, while Tremblay advanced.[27] In the 1000 m, Celski finished third behind Lee Ho-Suk and Kwak Yoon-Gy with a time of 1:27.515.[28] In the 3000 m, Celski again placed third behind Lee Ho-Suk and Kwak Yoon-Gy.[29] Celski finished fourth overall with 39 points.[30] Celski then combined with Jordan Malone, Travis Jayner, and Simon Cho in the 5000 m relay to finish second behind South Korea with a time of 6:46.205.[31]

2014 Winter Olympics[edit]

At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi J.R. Competed and placed 4th in the Men's 1500m, 6th in the 500m, and 13th in the 1000m. J.R. earned a Silver medal in the Short Track Men's 5000m Relay.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "J.R. Celski Sets Short Track World Record". The Associated Press. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  2. ^ "Short Track Speed Skating Records". ISU. 
  3. ^ Borzilleri, Meri-Jo (2010-02-07). "J.R. Celski poised for return after gruesome injury". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  4. ^ "Asiance Magazine profile of J. R. Celski". Asiance Magazine. 2010-01-31. Archived from the original on 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  5. ^ "JR Celski Tattoo Is Both Philippine And Polish". Trick Wire. 2010-02-21. Archived from the original on 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  6. ^ "Meet J.R. Celski: A Filipino-American with the Heart of a Lion". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  7. ^ "Celski skates into spotlight". USA TODAY. 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  8. ^ Judd, Ron (2005-12-20). "Olympics: Speed demon Celski follows familiar path". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  9. ^ "J.R. Celski and The Biggest Loser". Diets In Review. 2010-02-09. 
  10. ^ "2009 ISU World Junior Championships, Canada – 1500 M Super Final – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  11. ^ "2009 ISU World Junior Championships, Canada – 500 M – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  12. ^ "2009 ISU World Junior Championships, Canada – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  13. ^ "2009 ISU World Junior Championships, Canada – 3000 M Relay – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  14. ^ "2009 ISU World Championships, Austria – 1500 M – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  15. ^ "2009 ISU World Championships, Austria – 1000 M – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  16. ^ "2009 ISU World Championships, Austria – 3000 M Super Final – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  17. ^ "2009 ISU World Championships, Austria – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  18. ^ "2009 ISU World Championships, Austria – 5000 M Relay – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  19. ^ a b c "Skater Celski injured in crash at short track Olympic trials". USA Today. 2009-09-16. Archived from the original on 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  20. ^ "Speed skater J.R. Celski overcomes bloody injury to capture bronze". CNN. 2010-02-14. Archived from the original on 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  21. ^ "Short Track Speed Skating at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games: Men's 1,500 metres Final Round". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  22. ^ "JR Celski Wins Bronze Medal in Men's 1500 Short Track Olympics Skating". Media-Newswire.com. 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  23. ^ "Fil-Am speed skater Celski disqualified in Winter Olympics event". ABS–CBN Corporation. 2010-02-22. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  24. ^ Kelley, Steve (2010-02-27). "Ohno helps U.S. take bronze in 5,000 relay". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  25. ^ "Short Track Speed Skating at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games: Men's 5,000 metres Relay Final Round". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  26. ^ "2010 ISU World Championships, BUL, Sofia – 1500 m – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  27. ^ "2010 ISU World Championships, BUL, Sofia – 500 m – Men (semifinals)". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  28. ^ "2010 ISU World Championships, BUL, Sofia – 1000 m – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  29. ^ "2010 ISU World Championships, BUL, Sofia – 3000 m – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  30. ^ "2010 ISU World Championships, BUL, Sofia – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  31. ^ "2010 ISU World Championships, BUL, Sofia – 5000 m Relay – Men". ISU. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  32. ^ http://shorttrack.sportresult.com/Results.aspx?evt=11213100000010

External links[edit]