The U.S. short track speedskating team looks toward its first Olympic Winter Games in the post-Apolo Anton Ohno era. Replacing the most-decorated American Olympic winter athlete of all-time will not be easy, but the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team is shaping up to be full of young athletes who are experienced well beyond their years.
The Sochi Games will also be the first Olympic Games for the U.S. short track team under the direction of the new head coach, Guy Thibault. The French-Canadian and two-time Olympian took over as head coach in 2012.
In the new era of U.S. short track speedskating, the men are dominating the individual distance events. Leading the pack is Vancouver 2010 two-time bronze medalist J.R. Celski, who set a world record in the 500-meter race at a 2012 ISU Short Track World Cup. In addition to Celski, Chris Creveling and Eddy Alvarez are also beginning to leave their mark on the international stage.
Team USA will rely on Lana Gehring and Emily Scott to lead a talented group of women in Sochi. Gehring helped the U.S. capture the bronze medal in the 3,000 relay at the Vancouver Games, while Scott collected silver in the same event at the 2012 World Championships. One of the most exciting short track events, the relay continues to be a strong event for both the men and women.
The Olympic short track speedskating competition will be contested at the Iceberg Skating Palace, which is situated at the heart of the coastal cluster within the Olympic Park. The venue can seat up to 12,000 spectators and will also host the Olympic figure skating competitions. The facility was commissioned for test events in 2012, and will be used as a multipurpose sports and cultural facility after the Games.
The U.S. can carry a maximum of 10 short track speedskaters, including five men and five women, for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. No more than three U.S. athletes may compete in each of the men’s and women’s 500-, 1,000- and 1,500-meter events, while a maximum of one team of each gender may be entered in the team relays (women’s 3,000, men’s 5,000).
Quota places are earned based on results achieved in the four Special Olympic Qualification Classifications at two ISU World Cup competitions to be held between September and December 2013.
Athletes will be selected to compete at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games based on performances at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Jan. 2-5.
|Dec. 27-Jan. 1||U.S. Olympic Trials||Kearns, Utah|