There's a plastics connection at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in the form of U.S. short track speed skater John-Henry Krueger.
Krueger is the son of Bryan Krueger, an accountant at Washington Penn Plastic Co., a major compounding firm based in Washington, Pa. John-Henry Krueger already has competed in the 1,500-meter event, but wasn't able to medal. He's still expected to compete in the 500-meter and 1,000-meter events, as well as the 5,000-meter relay. Qualifying heats for the 1,000-meter race begin Feb. 13, with the finals on Feb. 17. Competition in the 500-meter race begins Feb. 20.
The Kruegers live in the Pittsburgh area, but for the last year, John-Henry has been training in South Korea, according to media reports. His brother Cole tried out for the Hungarian Olympic team — the family has Hungarian heritage — but didn't make the cut. His mother Heidi works as a figure skating coach.
John-Henry Krueger qualified for the Olympics in December by sweeping the individual track events in Salt Lake City. An illness prevented him from qualifying for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Dennis McKenna — chief information officer at Washington Penn owner Audia Group — has started a GoFundMe page to help cover the Krueger family's Olympics expenses. That page can be reached at https://www.gofundme.com/kruegerolympics.
"For me it's simple," John-Henry Krueger said in a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I love the sport and I'm naturally a competitive person. I found a sport that allowed me to go fast."