J.R. Celski is a 19-year-old speed skating prodigy who won five medals at the 2009 World Championship. Now, he's skating in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games (they start tonight!) and he's a medal contender in a few distances for the U.S. Short Track Team. Plus he's cute and smart, and he took time to talk to us. So, you know, we're fans. I Heart Daily: How do you juggle school and training? J.R. Celski: In high school I was traveling all the time so I built good relationships with my teachers -- that helped. My friends were really understanding about me not having much free time to just hang out. They knew I was pursuing a dream.
IHD: The hardest part must be the discipline to always eat healthily (or is that just me)? J.R.: I always eat some kind of oatmeal or cereal and the morning, and then chicken or fish with rice and veggies at lunch and dinner -- there's not a lot of sugar. I saw some glazed twisty donuts in the grocery store this week and they looked so good. But I couldn't do it.
IHD: Torture! So do you ever have time to do fun stuff? J.R.: I play the guitar and I'm learning the keyboard. I love to play songs by Iron and Wine. I'm from Seattle -- we really pay attention to music. My favorites are indie rock and underground hip hop. I listen to a lot of Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, those kinds of bands.
IHD: And you're a big reader too, right? J.R.: Yeah -- my latest favorite book is Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston. It's the true story of a guy whose hand was literally stuck under a boulder, and had to cut his own arm off to survive.
IHD: Yikes! Okay, one more serious question: You had a pretty scary accident recently (J.R. got sliced through the thigh with a razor-sharp skate about five months ago, and has been healing since). How did you overcome that? J.R.: I kept my head down and didn't dwell on what happened. I'm still fearless on the ice.