I’m JR. Nice to meet you. I was born in Monterey, California. Raised in Federal Way, WA. My parents are Bob and Sue. I have two older brothers, Chris and David, and a sister, Brit. Also a dog named Cali.
When I was 3 my parents strapped on a pair of playskool plastic roller skates to my feet, and that’s where the story begins.
I began my competitive career as an inline speed skater when I was 4 years old skating for Team Extreme at Pattison’s West in Federal Way. When I turned 12, I started Short Track in the Tideflats of Tacoma, WA at the Puget Sound Hockey Rink.
After skating on the ice for a couple of years and seeing the 2002 Winter Olympics, I decided that I wanted to pursue my own Olympic dream. I moved to Long Beach, CA at age 14 with my brother Chris in order to skate with Wilma Boomstra. I attended Lakewood High School while training and graduated in 2008.
After High school I was accepted into The University of California, Berkeley, but put that on hold so I could train for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC. In the fall of 2008 I moved to Salt Lake City, UT and trained with the United States Short Track National Team. In March of 2009 I placed second overall at the World Short Track Championships in Vienna, Austria.
In September 2009 at the Olympic Trials, I was fighting for a spot on the Olympic Team. On the last day of trials I fell and put 6 inches of my own blade into my left quad severing the muscle completely. This was 5 months before the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics in Vancouver.
I went through 2 and a half months of strenuous rehab at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO where Dr. Bill Moreau and his team got me back on my feet incredibly fast. I had two months to be in peak condition for the Olympics.
I walked into Opening Ceremonies on February 12th, 2010 as part of the US Olympic Team. The next day on February 13th, I won my first Olympic medal in the 1500m. On February 26th, I won a second bronze medal in the 5000m relay alongside my teammates Jordan Malone, Travis Jayner, Apolo Ohno, and Simon Cho.
I decided to take a year off after the Olympics and started filming a documentary on the Northwest Hip Hop Scene titled “The Otherside" which is currently on the film festival circuit. The film premiered on May 31st at The Seattle International Film Festival (SiFF).
I returned to the ice in the summer of 2011 to once again train for the Olympics.
In September of 2012 I won the US Single Distance Championships to earn a spot on the Fall World Cup Team that would go on to compete in World Cups 1-4. At the first World Cup of the year in Calgary, Canada I skated the first sub 40 second 500 meter ever setting the World Record at 39.937. At the conclusion of the 2012-2013 season I racked up a total of 7 medals (1 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze) and a World Record.
On January 5th, 2014 I was nominated to the US Olympic Team for a second time. I will represent the USA in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia this February.
I am currently training with the US Speedskating National Racing Program. Head Coaches - Stephen Gough, Guy Thibaut. Strength and Conditioning - Shane Domer.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I know what I want the books to read. Stay tuned for more updates.