Johnathan So skates at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 on Jan. 22, 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Short track speedskater Jonathan So joined forces with athletes from around the world Wednesday to clinch gold in the mixed-country team relay on the final day of the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020.
Korea’s Chanseo Kim, Japan’s Shogo Miyata and Netherland’s Diede Van Oorschot and Team USA’s So finished first by just 0.074 seconds in the semifinals with a time of 4:11.095 to advance to the A finals. In the final, they once again pulled ahead of the competition, crossing the finish in a time of 4:12.378 to claim gold.
The team was given just one day to train together for the race, which involves each athlete pushing the next into action, transferring speed throughout the race.
“I feel like we were communicating really well [during our practice], so we worked on what we needed to work on to be the best team out there,” said So.
The practice made perfect the following day, as the team was able to advance from their semifinal to the A final, where they clinched the top spot on the podium by 0.594 seconds.
So was the only male short track speedskater to be named to Team USA for the Youth Olympic Games and has represented the U.S. in three events this week. This mixed-country relay marked his final event of the competition, following his races in the 500- and 1,000-meter individual events. His time in Lausanne, he says, has only fed his passion for the sport.
“It’s been really great and really cool to be in this environment with all these fans everywhere. I’ve never been anywhere like this,” he reflected. “I didn’t know what I was going to expect going into the event, but I definitely have more motivation coming out of here…It’s an honor to represent these colors, and I’m happy to bring back the gold for our country."