Since the inception of the Winter Olympics, the United States has piled up 85 medals in speedskating – more than any other event. And despite only being added to the Olympic line-up in 1992, short track accounts for 16 of them. Expectations for this year's team are as high as ever, which, as Jayner points out, means that simply getting on the team is extremely difficult. "Once you make this team, you're eliminating some of your main rivals," Jayner says. "If we were allowed, I think we could send two relay and both men's teams could make the finals. I think we're that strong right now."
While the United States might be the favorite, with J.R. Celski, Eddy Alvarez, and Chris Creveling joining Jayner as medal contenders, it has some new competition: There are several dark horses lurking in the mix of traditional powers and young upstarts that could come away with a victory – always an option in the sport. "The sport is really strong across the world: A lot of European countries have stepped up recently, the Italians and the English, and historically there are the Canadians, the Chinese, the South Koreans," Jayner says. "It's awesome to see and be a part of."