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J.R. Celski returns to competition after 17-month break

J.R. Celski

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Silver medalist J.R. Celski of the United States celebrates during the flower ceremony for the Men’s 5000m Relay on day fourteen of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

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Three-time Olympic short track speed skating medalist J.R. Celski will compete for the first time since March 2014 at the Desert Classic in Kearns, Utah, this weekend.

Celski, 25, last competed at the 2014 World Championships, placing second in the overall standings behind Russian Viktor Ahn.

One month before that, Celski won his third Olympic medal, a silver in the 5000m relay in Sochi. Ahn was the most decorated male athlete across all sports in Sochi with four medals, three gold.

Celski has taken season-long breaks after each of his two Olympic appearances. He is not committing yet to a run for a third Olympic team in 2018, US Speedskating said Thursday.

“I know that I’m going to take a little time off, regain my bearings, rest the body, rest the mind,” Celski said in April 2014. “I love skating. I really foresee that in my future. I’m just not sure when.”

Sochi Olympians Chris Creveling, a silver medalist on the relay with Celski, and Jessica Smith are also in the Desert Classic field.

Celski’s good friend and relay silver medalist teammate Eddy Alvarez is now playing professional baseball.

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