Pittsburgh native among American skating champions

Pittsburgh native John-Henry Krueger won the silver medal in short track speed skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics, ending Team USA’s eight-year medal drought in short track. Photo from nbcolympics.com.

In a world of quadruple lutz jumps and toe loops, the U.S. figure skating team skated away with two bronze medals while Pittsburgh took home silver in speed skating.

Nathan Chen, 18, landed the first-ever quad flip at an Olympics, as well as becoming the first skater to land five clean quads in a free skate. Husband and wife pair Alexa Scimeca Knierim, 26, and Chris Knierim, 30, were the first U.S. pair to complete a quad twist. Vincent Zhou, 17, landed the first-ever quad lutz at an Olympics during his short program.

Mirani Nagasu, 24, became the first female figure skater to land a triple axel at the Olympics. Sister and brother pair Maia Shibutani, 23, Alex Shibutani, 26, became the first skaters of Asian descent to win an Olympic ice dance medal. Adam Rippon, 28, helped Team USA win the bronze medal in his Olympic debut as one of the first openly gay Winter Olympians.

Team USA scored bronze in the Team Event with powerful performances from all members, including the Shibutani siblings who also claimed bronze in their ice dance free dance with a final score of 192.59.

Short track speed skating is a fast-paced sport in which competitors race against each other on the ice. John-Henry Krueger, 22, from Pittsburgh took silver with a time of 1:24:864 in short track speed skating in the men’s 1000m final. His time was not far off from Samuel Girard from Canada, whose time was 1:24:650.

Krueger, who has been skating since he was five years old, was told he was too fast for figure skating. He trained with the national short track team and began winning medals at age 16. Eyes set on the prize, Krueger began to focus the Olympics.

Published By: Paige Parise

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