Speed skating is one Winter Olympics event that boggles my mind. How do they move so fast without falling down or losing their breath? This year, there's one short track male speed skater I'm keeping my eyes on. His name is John-Henry Krueger, and not only does he look like he'd fit right in as the newest member of One Direction, he has quite the skating record attached to his name. John-Henry medaled on US ice at the 2016 World Cup in Salt Lake City, UT, placing third in the 1500m. Before you watch him speed around your TV screen in circles, here are seven things you need to know about him.
He Makes It Look Easy
A lot of things look easy when you're watching them on TV from your couch, but speed skating is not one of those things. John-Henry wants people to understand that while he might make it look easy, there's a lot of hard work that goes into it. He told NBC Olympics that athletes train many hours a day to make it look smooth and relaxed.
He Loves Pittsburgh Sports Teams
Even though John-Henry lives and trains in South Korea, he's from Pittsburgh and is a big Steelers and Penguins fan.
His Mom Is His Biggest Fan
When John-Henry was 5 years old, his mom, a figure skating coach, brought him to their local rink in Pittsburgh, and you could say the rest is history. But John-Henry will tell you that his mom is his number one fan. Just watch the video of the two of them after he found out he qualified for the Olympics.
He Once Had Swine Flu
One of the pitfalls of John-Henry's skating career came a few years ago, when he came down with swine flu during the US Olympic Trials. He had to pull out of the last few days of trials and missed out on the opportunity to compete in Sochi.
He Trains Both on and Off the Ice
His training schedule is very intense, and it doesn't just keep him inside the rink. He wakes up at 5:30 a.m., begins his ice warm-up at 6, then he does two hours of ice training followed by dryland training, which consists of weights, running, power jumps, and more. After a few hours of rest, he goes back to dryland training, then another two hours of skating, he told NBC Olympics.
His Dream Job Is to Be a Teacher
Ever wonder what Olympic athletes would be doing if they weren't competing for gold medals? John-Henry told NBC Olympics that his dream job would be to teach English in a foreign country.
He Worked With Apolo Ohno's Coach
John-Henry has trained with the best of the best, including Apolo Ohno's one-time coach, in South Korea, before John-Henry moved to the Netherlands in 2017 to train with a Dutch team.
To learn more about John-Henry, visit Team USA. The Winter Olympics will air live, beginning Feb 8.