The eight-member 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating team was solidified Jan. 5 following the conclusion of the final event of the sport's Winter Games trials in Salt Lake City.
J.R. Celski and Jessica Smith, who both claimed berths on the Sochi-bound squad during the Jan. 3 1,500 meter distance trial before winning their respective Jan. 4 500 meter events, each won the A finals of the 1,000 meter distance on Jan. 5. Both talented skaters will compete in all three short track distances --the 500, 1,000, and 1,500 meters-- in Sochi.
Taking the second spot on the women's Olympic team by placing second to Smith in all three races was Emily Scott, who was frustrated that she'd lost the 500 meter final to Smith before she realized she'd made the team anyway. Like Smith, Scott qualified to compete in all three distances. The third and final available berth went to Alyson Dudek, who earned a bronze medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in the women's 3,000 meter relay. She will skate in the 500 meter and 1,500 meter events in Sochi.
On the men's side, Eddy Alvarez punched his ticket to Sochi Jan. 4 by placing second to Celski in the 500 meter trial. Like Celski, he will skate in all three individual distance events at the Winter Games. The men's team was rounded out by Chris Creveling, who will skate in the 1,000 and 1,500 meter events; Jordan Malone, who qualified take part in the 500 meter race; and Kyle Carr, who didn't qualify for an individual event but will likely participate as part of the relay team.
Short track speed skating action from Sochi begins Feb. 10 with the men's 1,500 meters, women's 500 meters, and the women's 3,000 meter relay.