In Colorado Springs, one time zone and 1,000 miles or so away from Vancouver's Olympic short-track speedskating oval, a handful of sport-medicine personnel cheered J.R. Celski's bronze medal in front of their televisions Saturday night.
In Colorado Springs, one time zone and 1,000 miles or so away from Vancouver’s Olympic short-track speedskating oval, a handful of sport-medicine personnel cheered J.R. Celski’s bronze medal in front of their televisions Saturday night.
They were the group that played a major role in getting Celski, 19, back on the ice in time for the Olympics after he slashed his leg to the bone in September.
Jenna Street and Kerry Conway, two members of the five-person team that participated in his intensive physical therapy over two months, watched the race together on TV at Conway’s house.
It was the first time Celski had competed since his injury.
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Street, a physical therapist at the U.S. Olympic Training Center’s sports medicine facility, never sat down for any of Celski’s three races — the preliminary, the semifinal and the final.
“I was jumping up and down, especially when he won,” Street said. “I was jumping and giving him my coaching through the TV. Because, you know, he can hear me.”
Bill Moreau, head of the clinic, watched in his living room with his wife, Karen. Because of NBC’s time delay of the live event, friends and family in earlier time zones were under strict orders not to contact them. That included his mother, Val, in Iowa, who was so excited she almost spilled the beans.
Said Moreau: “I said, ‘Mom, don’t tell me.’ She’s 82 years old, but give me a break.”
Celski injured his right leg when he crashed during the final race of Olympic trials on Sept. 12 in Marquette, Michigan, five months to the day from the 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremony.