USA Bobsled and Skeleton

Billy Fiske

June 4, 1911 - August 18, 1940

Billy Fiske was the youngest gold medalist in the sport of bobsled at the age of 16 when he led his 5-man bobsled team to victory at the 1928 Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland.  Fiske repeated his gold medal performance in the 4-man bobsled event at the 1932 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., where he also carried the U.S. flag into opening ceremonies.

Pretending to be Canadian, American citizen Fiske joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1939.  Fiske was one of the first American pilots to be killed in action when a German gunner shot his aircraft during the Battle of Britain.  The USBSF created the Billy Fiske Memorial Trophy in honor of him, which is awarded to the US 4-man national championship team annually.


Jennison Heaton

April 16, 1904 - August 6, 1971

Jennison Heaton won two medals at the 1928 Winter Olympic Games in St. Mortiz, Switzerland, including gold in the men’s skeleton event and a silver medal in the 5-man bobsled competition.  Heaton’s medal winning skeleton sled is on display in the Hotel Soldanella in St. Moritz.

The Heaton Cup was donated during the 1930-31 season, and is still one of the most prized trophies of the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club.  Heaton later married Beulah Fiske, becoming the brother-in-law to Olympic bobsled legend Billy Fiske.


William Napier

March 4, 1939 - June 12, 2005


William Napier served in the Marines before joining the Amateur Athletic Union in the 1960s.  Napier competed in national and international bobsled competitions as a driver in both the 2 and 4-man disciplines, and competed in the 1980 Olympic Trials.

After retiring as an athlete, Napier remained involved in the sport by serving as an FIBT jury member, taking the role as USBSF President in the late 1980s, and volunteering as President of the Lake Placid Track Officials Association.  Napier also coached the US development program, which included his son, John, before passing away from cancer in 2005.