Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
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Final World Cup race of 2015 to be held in Koenigssee this week
KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Dec. 9, 2015)- The final World Cup race of 2015 will commence in Koenigssee, Germany this week before the tour breaks for the holiday. Completed in 1968, the Koenigssee course was the first permanently refrigerated bobsled, skeleton and luge track in the world.
The detailed Koenigssee World Cup schedule is outlined below, with race times listed in local time and EST between parentheses:
Friday, Dec. 11:
11 a.m. (5 a.m.): Women’s skeleton
2:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m.): Women’s bobsled
Saturday, Dec. 12:
10 a.m. (4 a.m.): Men’s skeleton
1:30 a.m. (7:30 a.m.): Men’s two-man bobsled
Sunday, Dec. 13:
11:45 a.m. (5:45 a.m.): Four-person bobsled
The second run from each race is scheduled to broadcast same-day delay on Universal HD. Please check local listings to find the Universal HD channel in your area and for updated air times. First runs will also be streamed live on the Bobsleigh and Skeleton TV Youtube Channel, and the second run can be viewed live on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.) hopes to better his personal best finish in Koenigssee, a bronze medal performance last season, in the men’s race on Saturday. First-year World Cup competitor Nathan Crumpton (Park City, Utah) will look to improve his best Koenigssee finish to-date, which was 20th in a 2014 European Cup.
Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) posted a top-10 finish in last season’s World Cup, and the veteran is in the mix for a top-six finish this week. Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) earned a fourth place in last season’s European Cup competition in Koenigssee en route to winning the overall title, and it won’t be surprising if the World Cup rookie is in medal contention on Friday.
Olympic medalist Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) will team with Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) in the Under Armour wrapped BMW-made sled as the lone Team USA registrants entered into the women’s bobsled race on Friday. Greubel Poser has claimed two medals in the first two World Cup events of the season, including a gold medal finish in Winterberg, Germany last weekend.
After a meeting with the coaches, medical staff and two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) following the Winterberg World Cup, it was decided that Meyers Taylor would not race in Koenigssee. The reigning World Cup and World Champion is headed back to the United States to continue her rehabilitation after a concussion last year in preparation for the second half of the season.
“Elana (Meyers Taylor) is one of the toughest athletes we’ve ever had in the sport and she would like nothing better than fighting it out with Jamie (Greubel Poser) for gold in every race,” said Darrin Steele, USA Bobsled & Skeleton CEO. “But, we have to be smart when it comes to these types of injuries. The only race that really matters is in 2018 and she needs to take whatever time is necessary to ensure she’s healthy and ready.”
Meyers Taylor said that while she’s still reaching the medal stand, she knows she’s only racing at 70 percent.
“It would almost be easier if I had a broken leg because then it’s something you can see and push through,” Meyers Taylor said. “This isn’t visible, so it’s lot harder to identify and fight through. I just know that I’m not at full speed right now.”
Despite not feeling at the top of her game, Meyers Taylor reset her own start record en route to winning the silver medal in Winterberg last weekend. Meyers Taylor said her results aren’t necessarily suffering, but she knows there’s more in the tank.
“Obviously I want to race,” Meyers Taylor said. “This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make because I know I have the ability to win races, but I also know that I’m not performing at 100 percent and I want to give myself the chance to get there before the 2018 Winter Olympics.”
Meyers Taylor earned her first Olympic medal as a push athlete at the 2010 Vancouver Games before claiming silver as a pilot at the 2014 Sochi Games. With two Olympic medals, one World Championship title and the overall World Cup trophy, Meyers Taylor still has her heart set on one particular piece of hardware: Olympic gold.
“My goal is to be ready for this season’s world championships, but ultimately, my goal is to win gold in 2018,” Meyers Taylor said. “With the numerous resources available through the U.S. Olympic Committee, I know we’ll find the best treatment option and that I’ll be back to 100 percent without any doubts in my mind.”
Three-time Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) will team with a new push athlete combination of Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Maine), Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) in the Night Train 2 four-person sled. Two-time Olympian Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) will race with Casey Wickline (Greenville, S.C.), James Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Sam Michener (Gresham, Ore.) on Sunday. Two-man combinations have not yet been decided and will be posted to the website, www.usabs.com, once announced.
Team USA’s best Koenigssee performance to date for the men’s bobsled team was a gold medal finish by Holcomb’s four-person team in a 2014 World Cup.
For a closer look at the Koenigssee track and Team USA’s past performances, please click here.
The Youth Olympic Games Qualification Series continues next week from Dec. 16-17 with the final two skeleton races of the season prior to the announcement of the team next month. The European Cup will wrap up the first half of the season with double races in Sigulda, Latvia from Dec. 19-20.
After the holiday break, the World Cup tour will return to home ice with races in Lake Placid, N.Y. from Jan. 8-9 and in Park City, Utah from Jan.15-16.
Visit www.usabs.com for updates and results from the various tours. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250. Get updates on the team by following USA Bobsled & Skeleton on Facebook, USBSF on Twitter and USABS on Instagram.
About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Century 21 Real Estate, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, Park City Lodging, Inc., Classroom Champions, UberSense, Tesa Tape, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Protostar, Machintek and deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at www.usabs.com.