Team USA takes Mixed Relay Silver at Youth Winter Olympic Games

by Alysha Rummler

Team USA made history again at the Youth Olympic Games held in Gangwon, South Korea as four short track athletes stepped on the ice together to win Silver in the Mixed Relay. This is the first Mixed Relay team medal for the U.S. at a Youth Winter Olympic Games, coming just days after Sean Shuai won the first U.S. Gold in Short Track.

The team, made up of youth athletes Cindy Jang, Julius Kazanecki, Elizabeth Rhodehamel, and Shuai, qualified for the finals in a chaotic semifinal race. The U.S. team faced South Korea, Japan and the Netherlands. Only the first two finishers would advance to the A finals and despite a slow start and multiple falls by other teams, the athletes stayed on their feet and landed a qualifying spot.

In the final, the athletes were smiling and laughing as they entered the ice, seemingly not fazed by the race ahead. The team were up against Canada, Japan, and the favorites to win, China. Again, Team USA spent the first half of the race fourth in the group but kept up with the pack. In the final few laps, the Canadian team slid out and Shuai made a powerful pass on Japan to capture the Silver medal.

This was the first Youth Olympic Game Mixed Relay medal for Team USA since the introduction of the race as a national team relay rather than a mixed nation relay. This race concluded the short track races in Gangwon, South Korea.

For Media Inquiries, contact