US speedskaters crash in relay, still advance to finals
US short-track speedskaters crashed during a 5000m semifinal relay, but the team was still able to advance to the finals.
South Korea's Lee Ho-suk (center) and USA's Eddy Alvarez (left) crash alongside the Netherland's Freek Van Der Wart during a 5000m short track speedskating relay semifinal.
Ivan Sekretarev / AP
The US short-track speedskating relay team suffered a crash, but still were able to advance to the finals.
Team USA's Eddy Alvarez collided into South Korea's Lee Ho-Suk during a semifinal run of the 5000m short track relay, and the rest of the US team scrambled to get back in the race, finishing fourth overall.
But officials analyzed the footage after the race and found the Koreans at fault, disqualifying the South Korean team and allowing the American team of J.R. Celski, Chris Creveling, Jordan Malone, and Alvarez to move on to the final round.
"I was nervous, extremely nervous, because you just never know how the calls are going to go," Alvarez was quoted in a Chicago Tribune article. "We're just happy it went our way."
Celski and Malone also competed at the 5000m relay at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Back in 2010, the US took the bronze medal to Canada's gold and South Korea's silver.
But now with South Korea out, and defending gold medalists Canada also crashed and unable to advance to the finals, the US team's chances of medaling have drastically improved.
Now the US will be competing against the Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Russia, and China in the 5000m relay A finals on Feb. 21.