HomeBad Ass AsiansStory of J.R. Celski, US Olympic Speed Skater

Story of J.R. Celski, US Olympic Speed Skater

JR CelskiThe Sochi Winter Olympics gets underway February 7 and among the competitors representing the United States are many Asian Americans.

J.R. Celski won two Olympic bronze medals at the 2010 games in Vancouver, British Columbia in the short track speed skating competition.

Celski was born in Monterey, California and was raised in Federal Way, Washington. His mother Sue is of Filipino descent and his father is Polish and served in the US Army as a captain.

J.R. put on his first pair of skates at age 3 and began skating competitively at age 4.

“It was a family affair,” he said.  “My dad thought it was a good idea to have his kids do kind of a good activity together. My mom always made sure that she capture every moment on video, said JR Celski.”

The 24-year old began to seriously pursue his Olympic dream at age 14 when he moved to California to train.

He described moving away from his family as “heartbreaking” and called his family everyday and they supported him every step of the way.

“What they have to do to get to that point, you have to truly really believe,” said his mom Sue.  “It’s just our family way. That’s our conviction. That’s our strength.”

Five months before the Vancouver Olympics, J.R. suffered a serious leg injury and many doubted he could return in time to compete in the games. You can hear about his remarkable comeback and story in the video clip below.


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