As one of short track speedskating’s rising stars, J.R. Celski skated to two bronze medals at the 2010 Winter Olymipcs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. J.R. earned medals in the 1,500-meter race and the 5,000-meter team relay, showing no ill effects from a life-threatening injury only months earlier in the Olympic Trials.
J.R.’s story – one of determination, perseverance, and hope – made the 19-year-old’s efforts all the more impressive and earned him respect and notoriety on Olympics telecasts and in media coverage. His Olympic success was magnified due to his young age and tough circumstances, and he ended the three-week competition as the heir apparent to the U.S. speedskating throne, held by teammate Apolo Anton Ohno.
In the Olympics’ first weekend, J.R. took to the ice in the 1,500-meter race – one of the premier events at the Winter Games and J.R.’s strongest distance. He made it through the qualification rounds and into the final where he skated alongside Ohno and a trio of talented South Korean skaters.
J.R.’s continued health and success both on and off the ice include J.R.’s mix of AIM products: AIM Garden Trio, AIMega, AIM Peak Endurance, CalciAIM, AIM Cellsparc 360, AIM Proanycnol 2000, AIM PrepZymes, and AIM Herbal Fiberblend caps.”
J.R. kept his cool at the back of the pack for the majority of the race, biding his time until an opportunity presented itself. His opportunity came on the last lap when he and Ohno took advantage of a spill by two of the Korean skaters. Ohno and J.R., skating in fourth and fifth positions, watched as South Korea’s Lee Ho-Suk crashed on the final turn, taking out Korean teammate Sung Si-Bak in the process. Ohno and J.R. skated past to capture silver and bronze, respectively.
Two weeks later, on speedskating’s final night, J.R. earned his second medal of the Games with a clutch performance in the 5,000-meter team relay. He and the three other American skaters – including Ohno – found themselves in fourth place late in the race, trailing Canada, South Korea, and China. On the penultimate leg of the relay, J.R. pushed the U.S. team onto the medal stand – literally – when he passed off to Ohno, shoving his teammate ahead of the third-place Chinese skater. Ohno maintained third place for the final two laps of the race.
J.R. also had a chance to medal in the 1,000-meter race, but he was disqualified in the semifinal round on a questionable call for interference with another skater.
J.R.’s rise to the top of the speedskating world is remarkable, considering that he was still skating at the junior level only a year ago. In February 2009, J.R. made his first mark on the senior speedskating circuit by winning the 1,500-meter gold medal at World Cup VI in Dresden, Germany. The win was J.R.’s first at the world senior level, and it was the highlight of a 2008-2009 speedskating season that saw him excel at both the junior and senior levels, competing in the maximum number of races and logging over 600,000 air miles to meets across the world.
His storybook season continued at the U.S. Speedskating Olympic Trials in Marquette, Michigan, in September. At the trials, J.R. raced to the top of the overall points standings with a first place finish in the 1,500-meter event and strong showings in preliminary heats and competitions.
On the last day of the four-day competition, J.R. had his trials cut short after a hard crash into the wall during the semifinals of the 500-meter race. As he crashed, J.R.’s right skate sliced across his left leg, just above the knee, opening a large, six-inch cut that required surgery to close and repair. Despite the injury, J.R. finished second in the overall standings thanks to his superb performance in his prior events. He had earned his place on the U.S. Olympic team, yet his availability for the Olympics was very much up in the air due to his leg injury.
Rushed straight to the hospital after his fall, J.R. underwent successful surgery to close the wound, marking the first step on a long road back to the ice. Overseeing his recovery was former Olympian and five-time speedskating gold medalist Dr. Eric Heiden who viewed the injury as merely a speed bump on the road to the Olympics. J.R. spent time recuperating in Salt Lake City before transferring to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The AIM Companies, located in Nampa, Idaho, began sponsoring J.R. in 2002; AIM’s nutritional products were a key part to J.R.’s training and nutrition regimen. Over the past seven years, the Celski’s have credited AIM nutritional products with J.R.’s continued health and success both on and off the ice. Included in J.R.’s mix of products are AIM Garden Trio, AIMega, AIM Peak Endurance, CalciAIM, AIM Cellsparc 360, AIM Proanycnol 2000, AIM PrepZymes, and AIM Herbal Fiberblend caps.
Nutrition has been a key part to J.R.’s skating career, so it only made sense that it would be a key part to his recovery from injury. Immediately into the healing process, J.R. boosted his daily dosages of AIM nutritional products. The added nutrition along with expert care and a strong will and determination saw J.R. tear through rehab faster than anyone had expected.
Only one month following the surgery, J.R. was able to bend his leg at a 90-degree angle. Doctors typically expect this benchmark to occur six weeks post-surgery. He bent the knee to 115 degrees soon after, and he continued to improve right up to the Olympic Games.
Congratulations to J.R. from everyone at The AIM Companies. He is a shining example of what you can achieve with perseverance, hard work, and good nutrition.
The video links below will open YouTube.com. Each video is produced by The AIM Companies. If you contact AIM please let them know that your sponsor ID is 426039 – Amy Houston. Thank you!
J.R. Celski – Injury & Recovery with AIM Products
Parents Of An Olympian – Part 1
Parents Of An Olympian – Part 2
Parents Of An Olympian – Part 3
Young skater pursues high-intensity training
As with many Olympic hopefuls, J.R. Celski?s dream to become an Olympic gold medalist has turned into a family project, with the entire family backing the young athlete and sacrificing what they can to make J.R.?s dream come true.
In order to provide J.R. with the best
possible training and preparation opportunity, the family moved J.R. to Long
Beach, California, where he is a member of the best short track club in the
U.S.?with the best coach in the U.S., Wilma Boomstra.
In fact, moving away from home at the young age of 14 to pursue this high intensity training has provided a challenging set of circumstances for the entire family. Fortunately, J.R. has the tremendous support of his two brothers. He lives with his oldest brother, Chris, a recent graduate of San Jose State University, who is working part-time, cooking, and keeping house for the two of them. This arrangement works out well so that J.R. can get to the practice sessions.
Meanwhile, his other brother, David, a sophomore at Central Washington University, telephones frequently to provide moral support whenever he can. David and J.R. remain very close, and David spent two-and-a-half weeks with J.R. in September, before school started, taking him to and from the continuous practice events.
J.R.?s parents have remained at the family home in Federal Way, Washington, to work at their jobs. On weekends, Bob and Sue Celski take turns traveling back and forth to California (alternating every other weekend) to keep the family together as much as possible. They also travel with J.R. to the meets in the northeast or midwest regions of the country. They admit, however, that the change in their family structure has been a difficult one.
?Neither one of us were prepared to have our youngest son leave home just after turning 14 years old?this has been very hard for us. However, with the vast faith we have in God and in our family, we believe we have done the right thing for J.R., and for the family,? says J.R.?s father.
Meanwhile, J.R. seems to have adapted to his new surroundings quite well. Despite having to leave all his friends at the critical time of just entering high school, he seems quite content with his new found situation. He has already made several close friends in the club, as well as in school.
Always an ?A? level student, it appears that J.R. remains right on track, academically. He is enrolled in the California Merit Scholar Program, a challenging program suited just right for J.R.?s level of achievement.
The AIM products remain key in J.R.?s daily schedule, and he has built his days around them. He takes eight AIM BarleyLife? capsules when he wakes up, eight more after school, and eight more before going to bed. In addition, he takes AIM Just Carrots? with his afternoon AIM BarleyLife?, and AIM CellSparc? 360 with dinner. J.R. believes that the AIM products will set him apart nutritionally from his competition as he matures in his sport.
We wish J.R. all the best as he continues to ?set the trend.?
Copyright ? AIM International, Inc. Used with permission.
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