Poker Player Wins Bronze
Sunday, 14. February 2010

J.R. Celski, nineteen years old, has just claimed the bronze medal in the Short Track speed skating event. In addition to being one of the best speed skaters in the world and an avid outdoorsman, Celski is huge fan of poker. Celski, scheduled to begin is studies this fall at the University of California at Berkeley, began training for the Short Track event back in 2002 and was unfortunately too young to qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Celski’s talent seems to precede his age where at 14 he qualified of the Junior World Team but was denied membership by the International Skating Union citing that he was not old enough to compete. Things turned sour for Celski when he injured his back during a race in Romania.

Celski had a great run in the 2009 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, taking home for medals for the U.S. First, he beat out South Korea’s Lee Ho-Suk and Canada’s Charles Hamelin to take the gold in the 3,000 meter event. Celski skated his way to another gold medal in the 5,000 meter event when the U.S. team edged out China and Japan to claim gold. Celski claimed a third medal when he took the bronze, finishing behind to South Korean athletes in the 1,500 meter event. His fourth medal was earned as he finished second overall in the Championship.

Celski earned his first Olympic medal, a bronze, after a well publicized collision on the track in Vancouver. The South Korean skater, Lee Jung-Su took gold in the 1,500 Short Track event, just barely outskating the American Apolo Ohno. The race was incredibly close with Celski finishing just half a second behind the South Korean. By capturing a silver medal, Ohno tied skater Bonnie Blair for most Winter Olympic medals in U.S. history with six.

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