Skeleton Preview
The U.S. skeleton team concluded the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games with two medals from Noelle Pikus-Pace (silver) and Matt Antoine (bronze). Antoine will look to return for his second Olympics, leading a competitive field of American athletes.

On the men’s side, Nathan Crumpton will seek his first Olympic berth after competing on the FIBT World Cup circuit for the past two seasons. 2014 Olympian John Daly makes a dramatic return to the sport after he officially retired following the Sochi Games. Daly sat in medal contention entering the final heat of the 2014 Games before popping a groove and falling into the middle of the pack. After taking two years off, he announced his return in November 2016, and will seek a spot on the Olympic roster. Additionally, 2014 Olympian Kyle Tress, Kyle Brown, Stephen Garbett, Mike Rogals and Alex Ivanov are competing on high-level circuits and are also in contention for a spot on the team.

Pikus-Pace retired from the sport following her medal-winning performance in 2014, but her Sochi Games teammate, Katie Uhlaender, returns for a chance to make her fourth Olympic appearance after finishing a career-best fourth at the 2014 Games. Annie O’Shea is also in a strong position to earn a spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic roster, having competed on the world cup circuit for the past three years. She was the fastest women’s competitor during the 2016-17 season, posting sixth-place finishes in each of the first two world cup races. Meanwhile, Kendall Wesenberg became the first American woman to claim the overall European Cup title in 2014-15 and has since been racing on the world cup circuit. Also in the hunt for Olympic berths are Savannah Graybill, Meg Henry and Veronica Day, who all competed on international circuits last season.

Storylines

  • Having competed in skeleton since high school, Annie O’Shea had a breakout season in 2015-16, when she won two world cup medals and finished fourth overall in the season-long FIBT World Cup standings. Overcoming several mental and emotional challenges, she has transformed her mentality in her journey to reach the highest level in the sport.

  • If he succeeds in reaching the PyeongChang Games – and perhaps even the Olympic podium – John Daly will cap one of the greatest comeback stories in sport’s recent history. After popping a groove at the 2014 Games to put him out of medal contention, Daly thought he was done with skeleton. He decided to mount a comeback in time for the 2016-17 season and returned to competition at the North American Cup circuit in January 2017.

  • Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Nathan Crumpton has an extremely unique story. After spending most of his childhood in Africa, he moved to the United States to study and compete in track and field at Princeton University. During the offseason, he is also a model and an award-winning photographer, which helps fund his sliding.

Athletes To Watch

Matt Antoine
Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin) has already made a statement during the 2016-17 World Cup season, medaling twice in the first two races. The 2014 Olympic bronze medalist is back to form after returning to his original strength program, and will look to return to the Olympic stage hungry for another medal. He has been sliding since 2003 and competing on the world cup circuit since 2008.

Nathan Crumpton
Crumpton (Park City, Utah) looks to make his first Olympic team in 2018. A relative newcomer to the sport, he made his world cup debut during the 2015-16 season, during which time he finished fifth on his home track in Park City, Utah. The former Princeton University track athlete is also coming off a strong showing at the 2016 Team USA Skeleton National Team Trials, where he finished second to only 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine in each of the four races.

John Daly 
Daly (Smithtown, New York) made a dramatic comeback to sliding at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, returning after a two-year hiatus following the Sochi Games. Daly was sitting in bronze-medal position entering the fourth and final heat at the Olympics before popping a groove and falling back considerably. However, he comes back to the sport hungry for redemption and a shot at the 2018 Olympic podium.

Annie O'Shea
O'Shea (Port Jefferson Station, New York) emerged as one of the top women's skeleton athletes after a stellar 2015-16 campaign in which she won her first world cup gold medal in Lake Placid, New York, and ranked fourth in the world. She followed up her breakout season with a fifth-place showing at the FIBT World Championships in Igls, Austria. She is off to a strong start again this season, earning top-10 finishes in each of the first two 2016-17 World Cup stops.

Katie Uhlaender
A three-time Olympian, Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colorado) finished just shy of the podium at the Sochi Olympics, placing fourth. She now seeks her fourth Olympic berth after battling back from numerous injuries. She medaled in every Intercontinental Cup race in 2015-16, and has won both a world championship and two world cup overall titles in her accomplished skeleton career.

Qualification

Nations will qualify based on IBSF Overall Ranking points during the 2017-18 season. The U.S. can qualify up to three spots in each gender based on points earned during the qualification period that ends Jan. 14, 2018. A total of 30 athletes will compete on the men’s side, while 20 will take part in the women’s competition.

Click here to view the complete 2018 Olympic qualification procedures for skeleton.

Selection

USA Bobsled & Skeleton will hold a trials race series in the fall of 2017 to determine which athletes will compete on the 2017-18 World Cup Tour. Exceptions may be granted to athletes who earn a bye onto the world cup team by virtue of their top-three finish at the 2017 FIBT World Championships. Athletes may then earn international points on the 2017-18 World Cup Tour and these points will count toward selection to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team.

Editor’s Note: This selection process overview is designed to provide general information only and should not be relied upon by athletes attempting to make the U.S. Olympic Team. The selection process is formally governed by selection procedures published by each National Governing Body. Athletes and other individuals interested in the selection process should contact the appropriate NGB to obtain the full selection procedures, or to seek clarification of the process.

Key Dates

October 2017

2017-2018 U.S. World Cup Team Selection Series

November 2017-January 2018

2017-2018 U.S. World Cup Tour

Jan. 14, 2018

Cut-off for IBSF Overall Ranking points

 Jan. 16, 2018 2018 U.S. Olympic Team announcement