VANCOUVER OLYMPICS: Gold medal hopeful Celski learns critical lesson from ugly accident
THE NEWS TRIBUNE -11/27/09
Many of the world’s best short track speedskaters choose not to wear protective Teflon bodysuits under their skinsuits so they can go a fraction of a second faster.
J.R. Celski won’t ever make that mistake again.
“I’d rather go a 10th of a second slower than set myself back this much again,” the Federal Way native said Wednesday afternoon while waiting to board a flight from Denver to Salt Lake City.Racing without the protective suit at the Olympic Trials on Sept. 12, Celski, 19, fell and cut his left leg to the bone with his right skate. He believes the protective suit would have prevented the deep gash that could have spoiled his gold medal dreams.
“To this day I’m worried about not reaching my goal,” said Celski, one of the favorites to win gold in Vancouver. “But since the injury I’m getting more and more confident that I can be skating at my full potential by the Olympics.”
But regardless of how much he recovers between now and then, one thing will be certain when Celski takes the ice in Vancouver: he’ll be wearing his protective bodysuit.