John-Henry Krueger, Olympic silver medalist short track speed skater, was born in the US but is by now a Hungarian citizen – reports 24.hu. Krueger took the oath of Hungarian citizenship on Tuesday, so now there is nothing preventing him from representing Hungary at coming competitions, along with his brother Cole.
When asked about his decision to become a Hungarian citizen, he mentioned his brother. Cole, 27, has been training in Budapest since the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. This year, he represented Hungary at the European Championships and came in third with the Hungarian relay team. According to John-Henry Krueger, Cole seems very pleased with both the professional and the social aspects of moving to Budapest. Trainers and the association itself operate on a highly professional level, while it feels like fellow athletes are part of a big family.
“My goal is to help the men’s national relay team keep the title of Olympic Champions in Beijing, while I would also like to get on the podium in individual categories.”
– said the 23-year-old before his oath at the Zugló registrar’s office.
He said this decision does not change his feelings towards the US, but he admitted it is not easy to make a living as an athlete there unless one plays one of the popular sports like American football, hockey, baseball or basketball. The Krueger brothers have some Hungarian ancestors on their mother’s side, but the supportive environment, the great trainers and the excellent Hungarian speed skating team influenced their decision more.
At the 2018 Winter Olympics, John-Henry Krueger won the silver medal in the men’s 1000-metre short track speed skating event. In the past few years, he had been training in Heerenveen, in the Netherlands. He is excited to live in a big city again, and he really likes Budapest so far.
Now that he has taken up Hungarian citizenship, he has to wait out a season of competitions, according to the rules. He admitted he would miss competing in the coming year, however, this means he will have more time for learning Hungarian. It will also ease him into the new environment and help his adjustment to the new group. He is focusing on the positives and, in any case, he only has to wait until next autumn to start competing again, as a representative of the Hungarian national team.
“It is rare that an excellent group can form outside of Asia. It seems like everything is within reach for that here.”
– said John-Henry Krueger.
For his brother and the Hungarian national team, the season of short track speed skating starts on the first weekend of November, with the World Cup in Calgary.
For more news, check out this article about the recently opened National Basketball Academy.
Featured image: MTI, Zsolt Szigetváry