John-Henry Krueger, who began skating at the Mt. Lebanon Ice Rink and now lives in Peters Township, will be bringing home at least one medal from the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Krueger, 22, in his first Olympics, won the silver medal Saturday in the 1,000-meter men’s race in short track speedskating.
In the five-man final, Krueger, true to form, raced toward the front from the outset and stayed in the one, two or three position. He benefited when, skating in second, the three skaters behind him crashed.
Canadian Sam Girard won the gold.
Krueger missed a shot at going to the 2014 Games when he got the flu during the United States Olympic Trials. He has had to live away from home, including time in South Korea and The Netherlands, for much of the past several years to train.
“The amount of emotions going on in my head right now is overwhelming,” Krueger said right after his race when local NBC affiliate WPXI caught up with him. “Over the (past) four years, all the adversity I’ve had to go through, me and my family. Crossing that finish line in second place just means all the decisions we had to make, at the end we were right.”
In the 1,000 quarterfinals, where the top two from each heat advance, Krueger finished third but was advanced based on a penalty to The Netherlands’ Sjinka Knegt, who interfered with Kruger and knocked him out of a qualifying position.
“I bumped into the American, and that is it,” Knegt told the Associated Press.
Krueger then won his semifinal, when he again was aggressive from the start and skated to the lead.
Krueger has one more event at the Olympics, the 500. Qualifying for that race is Tuesday.