Sports Vancouver 2010
ALISON KORN - Edmonton Sun - 11, September 2009
As Canada's Olympic short-track speedskaters prepare to leave today for the first two World Cups of the season, they're keeping a wary eye on the U.S. team selection drama playing out this week south of the border.
At the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, flashy American Apolo Anton Ohno beat Canuck Francois-Louis Tremblay of Montreal for gold in the 500 metres.
Since then, times have changed. Ohno, 27, is now fighting for top rank on the U.S. team against a young upstart -- 19-year-old J.R. Celski, who won a 1,000-metre time trial Tuesday. Ohno is a five-time Olympic medallist who became famous even among non-sports fans when he won ABC's Dancing With the Stars in 2007.
Celski later bested Ohno a second time Tuesday when they were paired in the four-lap time trial. Competition continues until Saturday in Marquette, Mich.
"It's a little confidence boost," Celski said. "It's the first meet of the season and it doesn't even feel like I'm at a meet. "I'm not even nervous."Read all...
Ohno heads U.S. short-track speedskating field
CHAREAN WILLIAMS - Star telegram
"This is my 15th year heading this team, so I guess I am somewhat of a veteran in this sport," Ohno said Thursday in a conference call at the U.S. Olympic Summit. "... I still feel like I am one of the best skaters in the world, and on any given day, I can vie for hitting the top of the podium."
Celski skates into spotlight
Jim LaJoie - USA TODAY
Photo: By Carlos Osorio, AP
J.R. Celski, right, leads Apolo Anton Ohno on Wednesday in the first turn of a 500-meter semifinal event in the U.S. short-track speedskating championships in Marquette, Mich.
His name is John Robert Celski, but to his parents, J.R. translates into "Just Rocks."
"I was competing at the World Championships in Vancouver last year and there were fans cheering me on," Celski said. "My mom and dad had shirts on that said, "J.R. — Just Rocks."
Winning is not everything for skater Ohno
Steve Ginsburg - US Daily
"The goal in my sport is to prepare my mind, body and soul 100 percent so that I can race and be able to cross the finish line with my head held high, regardless of what place I get.
"For me, that's the ultimate goal, much more important than trying to win gold, silver or bronze," he told Reuters. "It's the preparation phase that I'll remember when the spotlight is gone."
Ohno: Fourth time around is no easier
Ron Judd - Seattle Times
"It's much harder to make the team than ever before," Ohno said. "You can't make any mistakes. A mistake can mean the difference between first and fourth."
J.R. Celski tops Apollo Anton Ohno in Olympic speedskating trials