The United States’ lone short track medalist at the 2018 Winter Olympics, John-Henry Kreuger, is chasing more hardware in 2022. This time, however, he’ll do so while representing Hungary. Kreuger switched nationalities in the weeks following PyeongChang, citing better financial opportunities available in Hungary. There, he will team up with brothers Shaoang and Shaolin Sandor Liu, gold medalists in the 5000m relay in PyeongChang and at the 2021 World Championships.
An electrifying skater with an infectious smile, Maame Biney is eyeing a breakout Winter Games after gaining fans as a charismatic 18-year-old in PyeongChang when she became the first Black woman to compete on a U.S. Olympic short track team. She’s become versatile over multiple distances in recent years, but remains strongest in the fastest short track event, the 500m. Biney, originally born in Ghana, will look to channel fearsome alter ego “Anna Digger” when she takes the ice in February.
SEE MORE: Meet Maame Biney’s race day alter ego
Italy’s 31-year-old short track star, Arianna Fontana, can become the most decorated athlete in her sport’s history with a podium finish in 2022. She’s already head and shoulders above every other female Olympic skater with eight medals, tied with Apolo Ohno and Viktor Ahn for the most all-time across all competitors. Fontana is at her best when the race pace is swiftest, specializing in the 500m sprint event.
Three-time Olympic medalist J.R. Celski retired in 2018 following the PyeongChang Winter Games, his third Games representing the United States. The Monterey, California, native is also a three-time world champion and a former world record holder in the 500m event. In 2017 he helped the U.S. set a world record in the 5000m relay, which remains the current record.
The United States has a rising short track star in 27-year-old Kristen Santos. The Fairfield, Connecticut, native has gotten the 2021-22 season off to a red-hot start with a trio of top-three finishes – including her first career win – in just the first two World Cup stops. She is chasing her first Olympic appearance after an injury kept her from qualifying for PyeongChang in 2018, and has a chance to contend in both the 1000m and 1500m events.