Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
World Championships continue Thursday with skeleton races
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Feb. 22, 2012)–The U.S. team is hoping to maintain momentum after a successful first weekend of World Championship medal performances on Mt. Van Hoevenberg. Elana Meyers and Katie Eberling secured bronze in the women’s bobsled race on Saturday to continue the program’s trajectory of success, while Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton made history as the first U.S. team to win a two-man bobsled World Championship crown on Sunday. The bobsled and skeleton team combined efforts to claim the team event title as well to medal in all three events.
The action continues at 9:40 am on Thursday with the first two heats of women’s skeleton, and finals will take place at 9:45 am on Friday. Men’s skeleton athletes start their contest for gold at 5 pm on Friday with finals taking place at 5 pm on Saturday. World Championships culminates this weekend with the four-man bobsled competition. Racing starts with the first two heats at 9 am on Saturday, and concludes at 9:20 am on Sunday.
The U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation will also be inducting five new members into its Hall of Fame in the Lamy Lodge between the four-man bobsled and men’s skeleton events at 2 pm on Saturday. Fans are invited to call (518) 523-4436 to reserve tickets for the induction by Thursday morning.
Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) and Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) will represent the U.S. in the women’s skeleton competitions on Thursday and Friday. Uhlaender decided to become a dual athlete as a weightlifter and skeleton athlete and holds the Lake Placid start record.
“This has been a challenging season balancing my training for weightlifting and skeleton, but this is a dream for me,” Uhlaender said. “It’s a little overwhelming, but these next few weeks are what I’ve been building towards. My goal all year was skeleton World Championships and weightlifting Olympic trials, and I’m ready to meet the challenge.”
O’Shea had a breakthrough season and earned her first World Cup medal, a silver, in La Plagne, France in December. She set the Lake Placid track record en route to claiming the 2011 National Championship title last March.
“I am exciting about worlds since this is my home track,” O’Shea said. “I won my first World Cup medal this year, which really helped boost my confidence and made me realize that I can be competitive. I am so excited with how the bobsled team started worlds, and I hope the skeleton team can continue their success.”
Other athletes to watch include British Olympic medalist Shelley Rudman, who earned the overall World Cup title this year. Rudman will be hungry to add World Champion to her growing sliding resume, and will be a serious contender for the medals. German Marion Thees is the defending World Champion, and her teammate Anja Huber is a former World Champion and Olympic medalist. Both athletes will be tough competitors on the Lake Placid track. Canadian Melissa Hollingsworth is seeking to finally win that elusive World Championship gold medal, and will also be a threat for gold.
Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) and John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) will represent the U.S. in the men’s skeleton races on Friday and Saturday. The teammates were battling it out for the track record during National Championships last March, but Antoine surged ahead to put his name in the books as the fastest men’s skeleton athlete to cross the Lake Placid finish line. The U.S. men are expected to be a tour de force this weekend.
“I’ve had a pretty crazy season of ups and downs from winning medals to not getting a second run,” Antoine said. “We have a couple more days of training to dial it in, and then it’s race time.”
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Daly said. “Lake Placid is my home track, and I know I can be fast here. I’ve had an inconsistent season, but I feel confident that we can put together some good runs to make a run for the medals. It’s been a great start for the U.S. in the first weekend, and hopefully we can continue the swing of success into this weekend.”
Athletes to watch include Martins Dukurs, who has been dubbed “Superman” for his dominance in the sport. He established himself as one of the top skeleton sliders in the world after winning the 2011 World Championship and World Cup titles. A 2010 Olympic silver medalist, Dukurs looks to continue his dominance by winning the 2012 title this weekend. Sliding fast is a family affair in the Dukurs family. Tomass Dukurs is the older brother to Martins, and is also a threat for gold.
Other athletes that will fight for position on the podium include Alexander Tretiakov, who is nicknamed the “Russian Rocket” for his blistering start times. Frank Rommel leads a strong contingent of German slider and will also be a threat for the medals.
World Championships will conclude on Sunday with four-man bobsled finals. Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) broke a 50-year medal drought when he and his four-man crew won the 2009 World Championship in Lake Placid. Holcomb and his current team of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) will fiercely defend the Lake Placid title.
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) will pilot USA-2 and USA-3, respectively, alongside push athletes Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.), Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah), Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill.), Chuck Berkeley (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) and Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas). All three U.S. sleds are favorites for the podium on home ice.
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation will provide World Championship highlights following each race for requesting SNTV subscribing broadcast organizations. The news feed will be released one hour following the last event of the day. Broadcast partners are asked to adhere to a list of guidelines that can be found by clicking here. Please contact Heather Le Pere at (914) 525-0285 or via email at email@example.com for satellite coordinates.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online at www.Whiteface.com. If you can’t attend the events in person, watch live streaming of all World Championship races on www.FIBT.com. You can also download the Digotel Live+ for iOS iPhone app to watch from your mobile device, or catch the action on Universal Sports.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
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.