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Kristen Santos-Griswold notches a first for U.S. short track speed skating

Santos-Griswold makes U.S. history in 500m
Team USA's Kristen Santos-Griswold became the first American woman ever to win a short track 500m World Cup title, doing so with a slick move on the final lap in Beijing, China.

Kristen Santos-Griswold became the first U.S. female short track speed skater to win a World Cup 500m, prevailing in Beijing on Saturday.

Then on Sunday, Santos-Griswold won the 1000m in a U.S. one-two with Corinne Stoddard for her third race victory this season and fourth for her career.

It marked the first U.S. one-two in any short track World Cup race since October 2010 (Jeff Simon, Simon Cho) and first for the U.S. women since February 2009 (Kimberly Derrick, Katherine Reutter-Adamek).

“It’s my first time on top of the podium with a teammate by my side,” Santos-Griswold said, according to the International Skating Union (ISU). “Not only a teammate, literally one of my best friends. A really special feeling. Something I will probably cherish forever.

“I didn’t realise who was behind me until after I crossed then I saw it was her and literally screamed. I think my voice has gone because of that now.”

When Santos-Griswold earned her first World Cup win 2021, it was the first for a U.S. woman in any distance in nearly a decade.

Santos-Griswold is second in the overall World Cup standings behind Kim Gilli of South Korea midway through the season.

No U.S. woman previously won a World Cup 500m, the shortest distance contested, since the circuit debuted more than 25 years ago. Before the World Cup, American Cathy Turner won the first two Olympic 500m titles in 1992 and 1994.

“I’m trying not to be so hard on myself sometimes, which is something I did in the past, and that I think is helping,” Santos-Griswold said last month, according to the ISU. “When we practice, sometimes I used to think, ‘Tomorrow we have a hard practice, so today I need to be not that tired.’ I’ve tried to stop that. Now, I just give it my all.”

She also said she returned to school. She had graduated from the University of Utah in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.

Santos-Griswold, 29, made her Olympic debut in Beijing last year and had a best finish of fourth in the 1000m, just missing the first U.S. women’s short track medal since 2010.

“Being here again and having fun out there was so important to me,” she said Saturday, according to the ISU. “That (Beijing 2022 heartache) was part of the discussion to whether I continued skating or not. Now it feels really good.“

The three women who combined to win every individual 2022 Olympic gold and silver medal have not raced so far this season.

The short track World Cup continues in Seoul next weekend and streams live all season on Peacock.

Santos-Griswold, Stoddard finish one-two in 1000m
Kristen Santos-Griswold scores her third short track victory of the season, coming in the 1000m, with Corinne Stoddard winning silver for the first one-two finish for the U.S. in short track competition since 2010.