By Sarah Spencer for Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
On a family trip to Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Heidi Krueger explained the rules to her sons, John-Henry, 10, and Cole, 13.
The pair, already seasoned speed skaters, were there to take a private lesson with a ski instructor, try it out, then meet up back up with their mom.
About an hour and a half later, Heidi glanced up toward the resort’s steepest slope.
“And there’s John-Henry and Cole coming straight down the steepest hill in a speed skating position, no poles,” Heidi said. “And then I look up and there are their instructors chasing them from behind.”
No weaving, no poles to steady them; just two kids going fast enough to prompt the instructors to ask Heidi afterward if the boys could join Seven Springs’ skiing team.
Years later, that same speed has landed John-Henry in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he’ll sport black and gold skates while competing in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,500-meter short track speed skating events, in addition to the 5,000-meter relay.