United States short track speed skater Kristen Santos enjoyed a breakthrough 2021-2022 World Cup season and is peaking just in time to contend for medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
No American had won a World Cup individual final in the sport since 2014 before Santos ended the drought in October of 2021.
She edged 2018 Olympic gold medalist Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands in the Women's 1000m, admittedly her favorite race.
The 27-year-old just missed the cut for the 2018 Winter Olympics. She competed with a cast on during U.S. Trials after undergoing surgery for a sliced hand she suffered on an opponent's skate.
Santos came back and won four of six events at Olympic Trials in December to qualify for 2022.
“Four years ago, just missing the team really made me change that goal and dream from being an Olympian to being an Olympic medalist, being a contender,” Santos said on the On Her Turf podcast in December. “Even if I made the team, the way I was skating, I was not going to make a difference. That pushed me so much further these past four years to know that’s what I really want.”
I want to be in the mix and I want a medal.
Santos' results have improved significantly in several disciplines.
She finished the 2018-2019 World Cup season in 52nd place in the Women’s 500m, 11th in the Women’s 1000m and 56th in the Women’s 1500m.
The Fairfield, Connecticut, native finished 10th, second and fourth, respectively, last season and broke U.S. records in the 500m and 1000m.
She points to focusing on herself in races over what her opponents are doing and more training reps as key difference makers, she explained on the podcast.
Katherine Reutter-Adamek in 2010 was the only American woman in history to medal at the Olympics in the 1000m, but Santos has put herself in striking distance with her recent success.
How to watch Santos
See below for full broadcast and streaming details for all of Santos’ events, and check out the full short track streaming schedule.
Sat | Feb 5 | 6 a.m.
Women’s 500m heats
Mon | Feb 7 | 6:30 a.m.
Women’s 500m finals
Wed | Feb 9 | 6 a.m.
Women’s 1000m heats
Fri | Feb 11 | 6 a.m.
Women’s 1000m finals
Wed | Feb 16 | 6:30 a.m.
Women’s 1500m finals