SOCHI, Russia — Noted Seahawks fan J.R. Celski shared his dreary-eyed Super Bowl excitement with a pair of Olympic champions.
Celski, a two-time Olympic medalist short track speed skater from Federal Way, Wash., woke up at 3:30 a.m. Monday and watched the Seahawks take a 22-0 lead after two quarters on a stream in the Sochi Olympic Village.
He then took a halftime nap and watched the finishing touches of a 43-8 blowout of the Denver Broncos on a Slingbox provided by 2010 Olympic champion bobsledder Steven Holcomb.
They were joined by US Speedskating team doctor Eric Heiden, the five-time 1980 Olympic champion.
“I’m still kind of recovering right now from it,” Celski said following a weight session and on-ice practice at the Iceberg Skating Palace. “It was not a stressful game at all.
“I wish it was more exciting, but I’m happy with the outcome. It kind of made me question if it was worth getting up that early,” he joked.
A fourth person joined them, a U.S. team staff member and Broncos fan. She was more emotional about it than any of the men, including the soft-spoken Heiden.
“It was interesting watching [Heiden],” Celski said. “He didn’t really react to anything. I think he wanted the ‘Hawks to win.”
Celski said he nearly fell asleep during the second quarter, abstaining from coffee, before resting his eyes and missing the Bruno Mars halftime show.
Altogether, Celski said he got seven hours of sleep.
“He woke up, he got ready, put some makeup on,” teammate and longtime friend Eddy Alvarez said. “He looks good.”
Celski, 23, has been a Seahawks fan since he “was out the womb” and remembered the disappointment in 2006 when they lost Super Bowl XL to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Actually, at that time I was disappointed with my skating, too,” Celski said. “I took a year after that off. I was on a downhill slope. I wasn’t having fun with it. I’ve been watching the rise of the ‘Hawks for the past couple years, seeing things come into motion and players being placed on the team. It’s funny them winning the Super Bowl now. I hope it’s mirrored in my performance [in Sochi].”
Celski plans to march in the Opening Ceremony on Friday and opens competition in the 1500m next Monday.
American short track skater now competes for Italy