This win was especially surprising because Krueger was close to being eliminated in the quarterfinal round. He was only able to advance after Dutch skater Sjinkie Knegt was penalized. It's possible 22-year-old Girard would have nabbed silver without the other skaters falling, but from here it looks like he was blessed with two huge strokes of luck.
This silver medal is a gratifying shift in the narrative for Kreuger. Back in 2009, he suffered an illness during the Olympic Trials that lead to him missing the Sochi Games and has had trouble making it to the podium of late.
"It's the ultimate redemption. I'm finally able to put away the story about how I was a young kid who had swine flu and ended up missing the Olympics," Krueger said after the race, according to NBC Sports. "Now I'm the young kid from Pittsburgh who came back from an adversity and who ended up being the top in the world."