I am J.R. Celski, Olympic Short Track Speedskater competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics AMA!
Thanks for the questions Redditors. I had fun. Cheers!
I will compete in the Sochi Winter Olympics as part of Team USA in the sport of Short Track Speedskating. This is my second Olympic Games. I won two bronze medals in Vancouver 2010 after suffering a 6 inch gash to my thigh 5 months prior to the games.
I decided to do a reddit AMA before the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics because my buddy Vinny thought it would be a good idea to spark some interest in a film him and I produced called The Otherside.
The film focuses on the the Seattle Hip Hop scene and includes a behind the scenes look into independent musicians lives. We will be streaming it during the period of the Winter Games which starts on February 7th.
Feel free to ask me anything.
The village is pretty sweet! Great food and conveniently located next to the venues where the athletes will be competing. Nothing crazy has happened, yet...
Hi J.R.! I've been a fan ever since the 2010 Winter Olympics! I'm studying physical therapy in school right now, and was wondering what you thought of your experience in PT after your injury?
I was lucky to go through my rehab process at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs with one of the best staffs in the world. They took great care of me and are one of the main reasons why I was able to make it back in time for Vancouver.
You have an awesome tattoo. What are your favorite parts of your Polish and Filipino culture/background? (PS. I'm in a Filipino student organization in college, and all of us are cheering for you!)
If you weren't a professional speed skater, what career would you see yourself in?
I would probably have tried to be a musician and failed miserably.
Where can we see the full film? I've been following you on Facebook since before Vancouver and have heard a lot about it, but never actually gotten to see it! Good luck J.R.!
We will stream it during the Olympics for free at www.theothersidenw.com
Hey J.R.!! 1. Where is the best ice in your opinion? Anywhere in the world. 2. Who do you think will represent the USA in 2018?
Thanks for the questions Aaron!
- That's too far away to make any guesses! I know there is a lot of kids coming up strong right now so I expect to see some new faces on that team.
I'll be in Sochi cheering you on next week. How is the ice at the Iceberg Skating Palace?
Thanks! The ice has been pretty good since we started skating on it last week. We compete in the same venue as the figure skaters and they like a certain way (opposite of ours) so hopefully they can find a good middle ground.
I am such a big fan of you J.R.! You're recovery story really motivated me 2 years ago when I tore my MCL and PCL during the fall and spring of my junior year. It was really tough at the time but by seeing how you persevered and made your way back to competing again really pushed me to do the same. Thank you for being such a great inspiration for me!
- How are you adjusting to the living conditions in the Olympic Village? (I was reading an cnn article earlier today and it wasn't exactly shedding good light on the conditions there)
- If you could be an olympic athlete (summer or winter) in any other sport, what would you choose?
- Do you have any plans on what you want to do in the future after you retire from speed skating?
Good luck to you and Team USA in the olympics!
I would love to try the pole vault. It looks so crazy to me.
Hi J.R.! Huge fan here, was rooting for you and the rest of Team USA nonstop during the last Olympics. I also have one of your "Just Rocks" hoodies from 2010. The new merch looks great as well, I'll have to get on that soon. Glad to see you back and in good health!
- On a scale of 1-10, how happy were you that the Seahawks won on Sunday?
- Do you and Apolo still maintain a good relationship even though I'm sure you're both extremely busy?
- Related side question: would you ever do Dancing With The Stars?
- Finally, is there anything interesting that goes on or has happened in the Olympic Village that is not public knowledge?
Thank you so much and good luck!
Thanks for the questions!
- We don't see each other often but it's cool to talk and catch up when we do get a chance to.
- I don't think so.
- If you don't know already, there is a 24 hour all you can eat mcdonalds for free.
As a hockey player, I envy the precision that speed skaters have while on the ice. My question is, what hollow do you sharpen your skate blades to? Is it the same from heel to toe?
We skate on a precise rock and bend. It varies depending on the style of the skater. The radius on the bottom usually is between 12-15 meters and goes up towards the heel and toe.
How do athletes in the Winter Olympics view athletes in the Summer Olympics?
Personally I think they're beasts. Summer sports are a lot more available worldwide to participate in (track, swimming, etc.) than Winter Sports. Especially because of financial costs. Therefore the level is much more competitive. I give them props.
What are your plans and hopes for after the Olympics? It seems like you have a real passion for film and music. Are you planning on attending UC Berkeley sometime in the future?
Best of luck also to you and the rest of the US Olympic Team. I've been a huge fan of you and your amazing story. GO USA!
I haven't made plans for after the Games yet but I definitely see myself doing something with film/music and sports. Berkeley still might be in the plans as well! Thanks!
Hey there! What has been a Highlight of the Village this far? Also, YAY Seahawks!
The wind was so strong the other day that it sent waves over the sea barrier an broke the fence right next to the village. Go Hawks!
I just wanted to say that I watched you race in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and I fell in love with Short Track!! I had never heard of it before and I literally got to the point where I had cell phone alarms set so I could watch you race. Good luck in Sochi!
What is your favorite memory from the last Olympics? Also, what is your favorite movie?
My favorite memory was walking in Opening Ceremonies and my favorite movie is The Departed
Hi, just wanted to say I've been a fan since Vancouver and I wish you and the rest of team usa the best luck.
What's your favorite part about traveling for competitions and what's your least favorite part? And what did you think you would grow up to do when you were a kid?
My least favorite part of traveling is the limited seat recline on planes and my favorite part is getting to see the world.
Are you worried for your own safety in Sochi? How is the interaction between your competitors? Are you looking forward to matching in the ceremonies?
Security has been really tight here. They're calling it the "Safest place in the world". I'm definitely looking forward to marching.
JR, gah this is so exciting! It's been the longest 4 years I've ever had to wait! I'm actually more excited to see you compete this month rather than celebrating my birthday. You can say I'm big fan of yours. :) anyways I don't have a question, I just wanted to wish you luck next week. Kick some butt:) #TeamUSA
Fave Filipino food?
As a Fil-Am, what's your favorite part(s) of the Filipino culture?
Definitely the food. Can't go wrong with a nice plate of rice, pancit, adobo and some sinigang or lumpia on the side.
I guess I'll start off by wishing you good luck! I've been looking forward to watching you and the rest of the short track team compete again for the past four years, in addition to regular season events. So here goes nothing... What's your favorite part of having a multicultural background? And since everyone's been asking about music, I figure I'll be a little different. What's your favorite book?
I think my favorite part is that I get to embrace both sides. And have a knowledge of both cultures. My favorite book is Jackie Chan's Auto Biography
During Vancouver you seemed completely healed from your injury, was that not the case?
I'd say I was around 85% there.
So...I want to campaign for you for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue....because I think you are one of the most gorgeous olympians ever. If asked, would you do it?
Are you thinking about going to any music festivals this year?
Was thinking about going to Coachella with a couple friends.
What was going through your mind when Sung-Si Bak and Lee Ho-Suk fell on the last lap in the 1500m final in the Vancouver Olympics?
That I got really lucky...
since you're into film, do you have any favorite movies/shows/documentaries?
I was really into Breaking Bad. Can't wait for Game of Thrones s.4. Been watching a lot of foreign films lately. The Kid With a Bike is a good one.
Hey J.R., best of luck in Sochi! My question is what is your favorite activity to do in the Olympic Village?
Eat at the 24 hour cafeteria
Hey, J.R.! Thanks for doing this. I'm a huge fan of what you do, both on the track and off.
I watched an interview of yours during the last Olympics where you mentioned NW music. I was absolutely blown away once I started looking up artists, and I have to thank you for expanding my horizons in that way. I literally never would have known about Blue Scholars without you!
Also, I saw you at the Macklemore/BS show in NYC, but was too shy to say hello, so... hello! :)
Thanks for the message!
Hey JR! Congratulations on making the team this year! - 1) Do you know if The Otherside will be released on DVD at some point? - 2) What's your favorite post work out snack? - 3) Do you have a part of your daily routine you look forward too the most? - 4) Favorite song on your ipod right now?
1.We will stream The Otherside for free during the Olympics at www.thothersidenw.com 2. Vanilla almond milk protein shake 3. Eating after a hard workout 4. Higher Learning - The Physics
Hi, J.R. I've been a huge fan since 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I was wondering if you could do a tour after Sochi. Like maybe go to Philadelphia? We have cheesesteaks here!
Good luck and bring home that gold medal!!
I'd love to have a cheesesteak!!!
Besides speedskating what's your favorite Olympic sport?
Definitely Track and Field. For Winter sports it has to be Ice Hockey.
Hii! I'm from Southern California, so I have to ask, what's your go-to order at In-N-Out?!
Best of luck next week! :)
Double double with animal style fries, extra spread and a neapolitan shake
Hey JR, how important is nutrition to your performance? and do you have any recommendations on a good over all nutrition product?
Nutrition is the second most important thing in an athletes routine. Raw, whole foods. Leafy greens (spinach, kale). Limit the fast food!
What events other than speedskating do you look forward to attending/watching in Sochi?
Ice Hockey and Long Track Speedskating.
Favorite Macklemore song? Esp when you're preparing for a race?
Crew Cuts (Jake One remix)
How did you originally get involved in speed skating?
My Dad and brothers got me into it when I was 4 years old.
Wheres your favorite place to hang out/eat in So Cal?
Daikokuya in Little Tokyo
Which musical artist(s) are you obsessing over these days? What music pumps you up before a race?
I'm into an album by The Physics called Digital Wildlife right now.
Good morning, J.R.!
My question for you is, if you were only able to listen to one rap album for the rest or your life, what would it be? Also, any music suggestions in general? You always seem to be on top of your game in that department as well.
Thank you for doing an AMA! Best of luck to you in Sochi and go Team USA!
Great question. Too hard to answer. I'll give you three. Section.80 - Kendrick Lamar The Renaissance - Q-Tip Be - Common
How bout them Seahawks!?!
What's the roommate situation this year?
I room with Kyle Car.
Good luck in Sochi! Quick question, what good music have you been listening to and would recommend?
The Physics - Digital Wildlife
During the 2010 Olympics, you showed some great music taste. Any new bands or artists for us to listen to?
I've been into the same people. Picked up on Chance the Rapper last year. The Physics are a great group from Seattle.
I am a Macklemore and chance the rapper fan like you, but I was actually introduced to macklemores music through the blue scholars. Ever hang out with those guys? They seem awesome
Geo and Sabzi are really cool people. They definitely love what they do.
How would you compare being a veteran Olympian to your first experience in Vancouver?
Much more focused and determined than last time around! And it's nice that I don't have to deal with any injuries.
If you could compete in any other winter Olympic sport besides speed skating what would you do? How about a dinner Olympic sport? Good luck on your races! Go Team USA!!
What is your favorite swag item that you received in Germany during team processing?
We got a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that I think is pretty awesome. (Coming from an apple guy)
Will you have time to catch any events? Which ones do you want to see?
The men's hockey final that the USA will hopefully be in.
Hey JR! Are you rooming with anyone there at Sochi? If so, who? What's on your playlist to get you pumped for a race? Do you have any pre-race rituals? Do you still listen to Vampire Weekend? If you do, what's your favorite track off their latest album?
I room with Kyle Carr. Playlist is always changing but right now I'm into a group called The Physics.
Hello J.R. Celski! I think you are incredibly inspirational! My family and I LOVE watching you during the Winter Olympics. You make us nervous and excited at the same time. My question for you is ARE YOU HAPPY?! :)
Yes! I'm so happy to read your questions! Refreshing =)
Hey JR! Wondering if you got any family in the motherland cheering for you back home too? Mabuti kapalaran at diyos basbasan ka!
Hi JR! Somewhat of a personal question from a fellow skater... How much time do you spend training with Wilma in SoCal? One of my closest friends (Thomas-you raced him at trials) and I are talking about going there this summer and it would be awesome to train with you. Good luck and I know you'll kill it in Russia! You're in a league of your own according to Wilma.
Wilma is awesome! You should highly consider training in So-Cal with her. I'm not too sure what I will be doing but there's a good chance that I could be there training as well. I'd say 60% right now. Thanks!
Hey J.R. - Just wanted to say hello from So. CA. I am so excited to watch you and Eddy Alvarez in the short track speedskating.
It was a pleasure getting to know you a little bit at NDS Athletics. Are you still swinging kettlebells?
Best of luck and cannot wait to see the film. ~ Tai
Awesome! I am still swinging Kettlebells. Tell Junior I said what up!
Have you been to the beach in Sochi yet? If so, how is it? Sochi is a far cry from your typical Winter Olympics locations...
I went to the beach. If you could call it that....
Hey J.R. You are KILLIN IT OUT THERE! Nice work brother. I got a quick one.. I keep hearing about you using (AIM) supplements. What are these? Are they bomb or what?
Take care over there in Sochi. Work Hard, Play Hard.
AIM is a staple in my diet! They are a whole foods nutrition company based in Nampa, Idaho and they supply me with some of the best supplements on earth.
Dude! Congrats on Sochi & best of luck! I'm hyped you're streaming the film soon since I didn't get a chance to make the film festival.
1-who are you excited to compete against? 2- what are you favorite olympic sports to watch in winter & summer? 3- do you have a ritual before competing?
Thanks Bea! I'm excited to race Charles Hamelin and Viktor An. My favorite sports to watch are Ice Hockey and Track/Field.
RE: The Otherside – What was your favourite part of production? Was the experience different than what you were expecting?
And then: Seen any other good movies lately?
My favorite part of production was the interactions with the artists. Very cool people. The Kid with a Bike was a good one if you're into foreign films.
How many times do you eat each day? Also, do you take any supplements?
I eat 3 - 4 times a day and take supplements. Omega 3 fish oil is my staple.
Dude! Just want to say best of luck to you, just like trials, you got this!!
WA represent! Gary G
Hi J.R.! What are a few artists and tracks you could recommend for playlist of the Seattle Hip Hop Scene?? Thanks for sharing your passion for music and sports. Good luck in Sochi!
The Physics, Brothers from Another, Kung Foo Grip
How about them Seahawks, yeah? You're not at the parade today??
Go Hawks! I wish I could be. Will celebrate after the Games
Hey JR! Thanks to you, I became a huge Macklemore fan about four years ago. Do you have any other music artist recommendations you could give out?
Best of luck in all of your events! We'll be cheering for you!!
The Physics! They're also from Seattle.
Not really a question, but Good Luck man! #WashingtonPride
J.R.! What do you think of the conditions at Olympic Village? Have you had any problems yet?
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