VANCOUVER, B.C. – Even after the American flag was hoisted and the bronze medal dangled around his neck, J.R. Celski didn’t realize the full significance of his push.
He knew he’d pushed his hero and fellow Federal Way short-track speedskater Apolo Ohno from fourth to third on the final exchange of the 5,000-meter relay.
What he didn’t know was that he’d also shoved the United States to top of the Winter Olympics record book.
Fittingly for the first Olympics staged in the Northwest, the maneuver by two athletes from the region assured that the United States would at least tie Germany’s 2002 record for most medals won by a country at a Winter Olympics with 36.
A smile spread across Celski’s face when he heard the news.
“I had no idea,” Celski said. “When our team leader finds out, we’re going to be jumping up and down.”
The medal for the Federal Way skaters set the stage for the U.S. bobsled team to lock down the 37th medal Saturday when it won gold.
The only drama left is determining what color the U.S. men’s hockey team medal will be. The Americans, who locked up a medal with a win Friday, play Canada in the gold medal game this afternoon at 12:15.
“It’s a great time to be an American,” said short-track speedskater Katherine Reutter
But the Vancouver Games will be remembered for much more than America’s dominance.
Like every Olympics, the games were packed with stories – some sad, some happy and some that were just plain funny. Here are some destined to be a part of this games’ legacy.
THE DEADLY TRACK Read more »