Celski gives US best hope for short track medal

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2014, file photo, J.R. Celski celebrates after the men's 1,500-meter race at the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials in Kearns, Utah. The 23-year-old from Federal Way, Wash., will compete at his second Olympics, looking to add to the pair of bronze medals he won at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File
FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2014, file photo, J.R. Celski celebrates after the men's 1,500-meter race at the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials in Kearns, Utah. The 23-year-old from Federal Way, Wash., will compete at his second Olympics, looking to add to the pair of bronze medals he won at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Apolo Anton Ohno took his soul patch, bandanas and eight Olympic medals into retirement, leaving a gaping hole in short track speedskating.

J.R. Celski is poised to step into the void as America’s best hope for a medal in the wild and wooly sport known as roller derby on ice.

The 23-year-old from Federal Way, Wash., will compete at his second Olympics looking to add to the pair of bronze medals he won at the 2010 Vancouver Games, when Ohno was ending his career as America’s most decorated Winter Olympian.

Celski qualified in all three distances for Sochi, in addition to the 5,000-meter relay. He’s ranked among the world’s top 10 in the 1,000 and 1,500, and just outside the top 10 in the 500.

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