SOCHI, Russia — After nearly two weeks of embarrassing on-ice results and off-ice distractions, US Speedskating finally won a medal at these Sochi Games.
In their final shot at reaching the podium here, after days of failures in both long- and short-track races, the American men captured silver in the 5,000-meter relay Friday. The short-track team, which included Eddie Alvarez, J.R. Celski, Chris Creveling and Jordan Malone, posted a time of 6:42.371, just behind the Russian team, which set an Olympic record with a time of 6:42.1.
In the race’s first turn, skaters from China and the Netherland took a tumble, and the entirety of the event was a two-man race between Russia and the United States. The Americans grabbed a short lead on the 15th lap, but the Russians regained and it and never relinquished it.
Entering the Sochi Games, the United States had claimed 18 medals since short track made its debut at the 1992 Olympics; four years ago in Vancouver the Americans captured six. This time around, they’ll settle for one — and spend the next weeks, months and years charting a course for the future of the embattled program.
The women’s skaters were shutout in Sochi. Earlier Friday evening, Jessica Smith finished fourth in the women’s 1,000-meter race.