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2014 Winter Olympics

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Team USA wins first Sochi Olympics speed skating medal in short track relay race

JR Celski leads American short track relay team to the podium
JR Celski leads American short track relay team to the podium
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Avoiding a washout at the Sochi Olympics, the U.S. Speedskating Team managed to finally win its first medal on Friday.

After two weeks of frustration, with medal chances come and gone, four American short trackers won the silver today in the no-holds-barre 5000m team relay event.

The American squad of J.R. Celski, Jordan Malone, Eddy Alvarez, and Chris Creveling were edged by the Russian quad at the finish by just .27 seconds. China won the bronze, well off the victory pace, due to an earlier crash.

The U.S. squad’s best hope at a short track medal, dual Vancouver Winter Olympics medalist Celski took comfort in winning his first medal, after being shutout in the three solo events.

Skating in the anchor position, Celski raced head-to-head against Russia’s Viktor Ahn near the race’s end. However, he was unable to overtake Ahn who was bolstered by the partisan crowd to lead to victory his teammates Semen Elistratov, Vladimir Grigorev and Ruslan Zakharov.

Celski and Malone returned to this same podium once again, having won the bronze in this event at the Vancouver Olympics.

This Olympics marked the first time in 30 years that Team USA was blanked in the individual speedskating races.

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