A 23-year-old Bay Area native is America's best hope of earning a medal in the short track speed skating competition at the Winter Olympic games in Sochi.
J.R. Celski was born in Monterey, Calif. but raised mostly in Washington State, which he now calls home.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Growing up J.R. Celski
Celski was accepted to the University of California, Berkeley, but postponed his college career to focus on short track speed skating.
He said it feels amazing to represent the United States at Sochi and will give it his best.
Celski also is being called the next Apolo Ohno.
"It's an honor that they feel that you're the best," he said of the comparison. "I'm going to really capture the moment and make some history out there."
Embedded owg_slideshow: Model Olympian: J.R. Celski
The athlete won a pair of bronze medals at the last Olympic Games in Vancouver. He said this year is more focused, both on and off the ice.
Celski is expected to draw a huge crowd when short track speed skating competitions begin next week.