From John-Henry Kruger’s silver medal to Maame Biney’s smile, short track had it all in PyeongChang. Here are some of the top moments:
From swine flu to silver
John-Henry Krueger was a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team ahead of Sochi, but was unable to make the team while battling swine flu. Four years later, following stints training in South Korea and the Netherlands the Pittsburgh native was able to not only make the Olympic team, but also win the U.S. first individual medal since 2010.
Lim wins South Korea’s first gold medal
Lim Hyo-Jun won the Olympic hosts’ first gold medal of the 2018 Games. What makes Lim’s achievement especially important is that it came in one of Korea’s most popular sports, short track speed skating. The South Koreans would go on to win six medals in the event, including two more golds.
Arianna Fontana gets her gold medal
Enterting PyeongChang, Arianna Fontana had won medals in the previous three Olympic Games, but was missing a gold medal. The Italian skater took a hiatus after Sochi, but returned to skating in pursuit of a gold medal, and in PyeongChang she got it.
Fontana also won a silver and a bronze, taking her medal total to eight, making her the most decorated female short track skater in history.
Maame Biney burst into the national limelight at the Olympic Trials, when she made the team as a 17 year old after dominated the 500m.
On the track, PyeongChang will mainly be a learning experience ahead of what should be mutliple Olympic appearence for the skater.
Off the track, Biney’s star contineud to grow as she enthralled audiences across the country. From hanging out with Leslie Jones to telling bad jokes with Rutledge Wood, Biney did it all.
Hungary win gold
The team of Csaba Burjan, Viktor Knoch, and brothers Shaoang Liu and Shaolin Sandor Liu won Hungary’s first Winter Olympic gold medal and first medal of any color in 38 years in the 5000m relay. The Hungarians also set a new Olympic record in the event.
Suzanne Schulting wins 1000m gold
The Netherlands have dominated speed skating, but have not had the same success in short track historically, but have taken steps to change that.
In PyeongChang, the Netherlands’ improvement in short track was noticable as the Dutch earned four medals, including a gold by Suzanne Schulting in the 1000m. At 20 years old, Schulting is poised to for a succesful Olympic career in the future.
Wu Dajung rewrites the record books
Wu Dajing continued his recent 500m dominance in PyeongChang. In the 500m quarterfinal Dajing broke the world record, and then proceeded to break it again in the semifinal. Wu is the only individual to break a world record in PyeongChang.
Netherlands comepte in Final B, win bronze
The Netherlands 3000m relay team struggled in the semifinal, landeing in the Final B. In the final, the Dutch women broke the world record in the event, but were seemingly not going to be rewarded for their efforts. As is often the case with short track, the Final A was filled with crashes and controversey as China and Canada were penalized, advancing the Dutch women onto the podium.
This is not the first time a team has been advnaced from a Final B in short track. It also happened in the women’s 500m in 1988 and the men’s 1000m in 1994.