2010 Winter Olympics: Short Track Speed Skating Medal Favorites
Short track speed skating medal favorites like Apolo Anton Ohno have helped bring this sport into the main stream. The fast action and frequent lead changes makes short track speed skating particularly fun to watch. Short track speed skating is typically dominated by America, Canada, Korea and China. This year's Olympic competition looks to be the same. Before you settle in to watch, take a look at some of the athletes that are the most like to medal in Vancouver.
The American team is led by third time Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno. Ohno has converted his five Olympic medals into sports stardom. In Vancouver, Ohno will be competing in several different distances. If he wins just one of them, it will make him the most decorated American ever at a Winter Olympics.
Another American to watch is JR Celski. He won four medals at the 2009 World Championships in Vienna. How successful Celski is in Vancouver will depend on how well he’s healed after a recent accident in which he sliced his thigh with his skate.
The American women are not as strong this year. They have been rebuilding the team after several veteran skaters retired. They are not expected to be contenders for medals.
Canada has managed to bring home Olympic medals in short track speed skating at the last five Olympic Games and they’ve got a talented team headed to Vancouver. If they continue performing the way they have over the last season, the Canadians are sure to capture medals this year as well.
Brothers Charles and Francois Hamelin, skating for Canada, are sure to get a lot of media attention in Vancouver. Charles won a silver medal in Torino and this will be François' first Olympics. Both have been doing well in international competition. Both have been winning medals in many of their competitions over the past couple of years. In fact, they were both on the podium for the 1000m race at one World Cup race this year.
Canada also has a couple of female short track speed skaters that are expected to medal. Kalyna Roberge won a silver medal in 2006 and is just as competitive this year. Her teammates Jessica Gregg and Marianne St. Gelais have the potential to medal as well.
The South Korean short track speed skaters have been doing very well recently. Lee Ho-Suk took three gold and one silver medal at the 2009 World Champion, and teammate Kwak Yoon-Gy took two silver medals.
The South Korean women are the best in the world. Kim Min-Jung won one gold and three silver medals during the 2009 World Championships and her teammate Shim Sae-Bim won three bronze medals. Many people consider Ahn Hyun-Soo to be the best short track skater in the world. She has already won four Olympic medals and four world championships.
China’s women are also dominant. They are powerful and they’ve been gaining on the South Korean women over the past couple of years. China's Zhou Yang and Wang Meng won eight medals at the 2009 World Championships (five of them were gold).