Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
O’Shea ninth in women’s skeleton Whistler World Cup
WHISTLER, Canada (Feb. 2, 2012)–Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) launched the North American portion of the World Cup tour with a ninth place finish in today’s women’s skeleton race. O’Shea led the U.S. squad in only her second competition on the challenging 2010 Olympic course in Whistler.
“I had a really horrible second run last year and ended up in 15th place, so having everything come together in the second run today felt really good,” O’Shea said. “I’m really happy and hope to carry this momentum into the final World Cup race of the season next week.”
O’Shea displayed her athleticism by powering off the block with identical starts of 4.96 seconds in the two-heat contest. The 24-year-old made a few mistakes down the course and was in 12th position with a first run of 55.80 seconds.
“I knew I made some mistakes, but I was pretty sure I could correct them in the second heat,” O’Shea said. “Normally I can hear everything the announcer is saying, but it was loud in the start house with the bobsledders preparing for their race, so I didn’t really know who was in the lead or what was happening. All I knew was that when I was standing on the line, the competitor in front of me had dropped back.”
British athlete Elizabeth Yarnold set the pace by posting the third fastest time of the final heat. Yarnold was the surprise winner of the last World Cup event, but she found herself in 16th position after a tough first run. The emerging athlete’s total time of 1:51.13 was enough to surpass seven athletes until O’Shea was able to match her efforts. The American improved her first run by nearly half a second to tie Yarnold for ninth position.
“I crossed the finish line and was already smiling because my second run felt so good,” O’Shea said. “I’m leaving Whistler on a good note, and I know what I need to do when we come back here next year.”
Canadian Melissa Hollingsworth finished a heartbreaking fifth at the 2010 Olympics and second in last season’s World Cup event. A gold medal seemed elusive for the veteran until today. Hollingsworth threaded together two clean runs to earn the lead with a combined time of 1:49.79.
Australian Lucy Chaffer claimed her first career World Cup medal after finishing second with a combined time of 1:49.96. British medalist Shelley Rudman inched closer to the overall points lead by posting a two-run total of 1:50.36 for third.
Kimber Gabryszak (Park City, Utah) produced a 19th place result after clocking a total time of 1:52.69. Gabryszak, who also works as a city planner in Utah, slid to the finish in 56.45 and 56.24 seconds.
Rachelle Rasmussen (Belmont, Calif.) was scheduled to compete in only her second career World Cup event today, but she did not race after sustaining an injury earlier this week in training.
Women’s bobsled is up next, and you can watch the action live by visiting www.fibt.com. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Mellisa Hollingsworth (CAN) 1:49.79 (55.09, 54.70); 2. Lucy Chaffer (AUS) 1:49.96 (55.16, 54.80); 3. Shelley Rudman (GBR) 1:50.36 (55.19, 55.17);…9. Annie O’Shea (USA) 1:51.13 (55.80, 55.33);…19. Kimber Gabryszak (USA) 1:52.69 (56.45, 56.24);
About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.