American speedskater star switching allegiance to Hungary
Speedskater Jonh-Henry Krueger surprised everyone when he announced that he would not skate for the US anymore, according to USA Today. Instead, he continues his career as a sportsman of Hungary. His decision is said to be inspired by his recent meeting with President Donald Trump.
After winning a silver medal in the 1,000-meter category of speedskating in Pyeongchang, Krueger suddenly claimed that he would switch his allegiance to Hungary. He stated that he simply cannot continue representing the USA as it would “bankrupt himself and his family,” as he would not receive the required support from the country’s committee.
The basis of the comparison is the fact that his brother has been racing for Hungary for two years and he experienced that Hungary supports its athletes much more seriously – this tendency is also revealed from a recent interview with Merit of the Olympic Games Committee, Professor Attila Borbély.
Besides the financial support, Krueger also highlighted high quality coaching that can keep up with the rest of the world.
Despite the USA being the country with the most Olympic medals, the country’s athletes often suffer because of the unfortunate financial circumstances. Krueger’s $20,000 prize for his silver medal in South Korea was immediately spent on loans which funded his training.
The first step towards Krueger changing the nation he represents will soon begin with an official request from Hungary to US Speedskating, which is likely to be accepted. The process will take some time, but it will not hinder his career for long.
Krueger’s absence will be a critical loss for US Speedskating and the short-track team, as he was one of the key figures of the assembly.
On the other hand, Hungary will receive a true talent in its team, strengthening the country’s already strong position in short-track skating.
The sportsman added that he knows that he will be criticised, but his dire situation forced his hands. He highlighted that his switching of countries does not change his feelings towards the USA and he still feels proud of winning a silver medal for America. Experts claim that it is more than likely that several more medals await him in his future career, only with the difference that these victories will grow Hungary’s collection instead.