Passion/Speed/Skating's favorite highlights from Pyeongchang in short track ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


1 mars 2018

Passion/Speed/Skating's favorite highlights from Pyeongchang in short track

We had an exciting competition in short track during the Pyeongchang olympic games. Here are our editor in chief's favorite highlights from the Games.

By Carl Savard
Photos by Martin Holtom

Wu Dajing's world record on 500m
Even though every country would like to brag that the fastest man in short track is one of their own, every speed skating fan, regardless of their origin, was highly impressed by Wu Dajing’s performances on February 22nd. After bringing down J.R. Celski’s five and a half years old record from 39.937 seconds to 39,800 in the quarter-finals, the Chinese star crushed his own world record by skating a 39,584 in a main final that saw all four finalists skate under 40 seconds. That was quite a show.

Kim Boutin & Arianna Fontana winning 3 medals each
With the Olympic games being held in Korea and the energy it can bring to a skater to perform in front of his fans, a lot of us were expecting a dominant vibe coming from the korean skaters. Even though they were strong and gathered their share of medals, we didn't see the tornado we were anticipating. While Italian superstar Arianna Fontana was able to win her 6th, 7th and 8th career olympic medals, Canadian skater Kim Boutin’s first trip to the Olympic games turned into winning one silver and two bronze medals. An amazing way for the 23 years old canadian star to start an olympic career.

Suzanne Schulting’s flawless performance on 1000m
If Suzanne Schulting’s World cup season was filled with errors, penalties, falls and deceptions, it’s pretty fair to say she is the living proof that you can learn from your errors. Known for her fearless energy, it’s easy to compare her style with how Elise Christie used to skate a few years back. Schulting’s performances  in the semifinal and final of the 1000m event at the Olympics brought her a fully deserved gold medal. This might be a game changer for Suzanne Schulting’s career. The Dutch star can now fully believe in her strength and talent. She has enough of both to stay calm and spend her energy at the right moment. A strategy that turned Elise Christie into a world champion last season and could help Shulting become one as well in the future.

Sam Girard’s first olympic champion title
While many Canadian fans of the Olympic games were convinced Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais would be the leaders of the Canadian team as much on the ice as they are off the ice, avid short track followers weren’t surprised to see Kim Boutin and Samuel Girard finish with better results than the Canadian power couple. After being advanced to the main final, Girard didn’t waist this opportunity by skating from the back. He got in front and brought the pace up. Even if he didn’t have to fight in the last two laps because two skaters behind him fell, it’s his hectic pace that pushed skaters behind him to skate on the razor's edge.

Yara van Kerkhof’s individual medal
After a great World cup season that saw her blossom, finish fourth twice in Dordrecht (on 500m and 1000m), win a bronze medal in Seoul on 1000m and a silver on 1500m at the European championships, Yara van Kerkhof gets a place on my favorite moments of the Olympics with her podium on 500m. Even though the Gods of short track may have helped her in the first round, her race in the semifinal was strategically strong. While Elise Christie, Kim Boutin and Qu Chunyu looked a bit sketchy, van Kerkhof raced with poise and reacted at the right moment to win her way to the main final. The same calm got her on the podium. Van Kerkhof came back to the Netherlands with two medals, also helping her team beat the world record on the 3000m relay.

John-Henry Krueger’s performance
Sometimes you need to leave home to become a hero. It’s pretty much the story of John-Henry Krueger who after training in the Netherlands instead of with the national team in the United States, won a silver medal on 1000m in Pyeongchang. Sometimes, you win a silver medal by losing to the gold winner, in this case Krueger looked like his only focus was on not letting his closest followers pass him. With the promising rise of Maame Biney and the 5000m relay’s world record the American men skated this season, John-Henry Krueger’s silver medal in Pyeongchang is an important highlight for the American team.

Comment below and let us know what were YOUR favorite moments!

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