By Michael Pavitt |
Pyeongchang 2018 medalist John-Henry Krueger is reportedly set to switch nationalities from the United States to Hungary.
The short track speed skater was the United States’ sole medalist in the sport at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.
Krueger secured a silver in the men’s 1000 meter event at the Games.
“I was and am still proud to have represented the United States during my career but have been faced with an unsustainable situation where if I continue pursuing my career with the US team I will bankrupt myself and my family,” Krueger said in an email, according to USA Today.
“Overall the financial costs necessary for me to perform competitively at the international level are unsustainable with the lack of sufficient financial support from US Speedskating and the [United States Olympic Committee].
“Hungary supports its achieving athletes on a level above and beyond anything I have asked for or would ever ask for from US Speedskating.
“I will be able to pay for basic necessities like groceries, rent, apartment furnishings, clothes and equipment without putting myself and my family in debt.
“The coaching and team in Hungary is competitive with any in the world.”
Krueger is now expected to join his brother Cole on the Hungarian speed skating program, should the move be approved by US Speedskating.
Cole reportedly decided to represent Hungary after claiming the level of coaching was not strong enough in the United States.
“Today John-Henry accepted the Hungarian’s offer to represent Hungary,” Krueger’s mom’s posted on Facebook, according to USA Today.
“Be clear JH did not leave his country, but is leaving the federation that callously abandoned him on so many fronts long ago and then refused to thoughtfully consider any of JH’s concerns, opinions, and requirements.”
Krueger’s medal at Pyeongchang 2018 was the United States’ first in short or long track speed skating at the Olympics since 2010.
He has lived and trained in South Korea and the speed skating superpower the Netherlands in recent years.
Krueger dominated the US Olympic Trials in 2017, where he claimed victories in each of the three men’s distances.
It is likely he would need to spend a season out of competition prior to permission being granted for him to represent a new nation.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.