2018 U.S. Olympic Skeleton Team Official Training Quotes

Feb. 12, 2018, 12:29 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, (518) 354-2250, amanda.bird@usabs.com
Kristen Gowdy, USABS Media and Marketing Assistant, (719) 722-0522, kristen.gowdy@usabs.com

2018 U.S. Olympic Skeleton Team Official Training Quotes

Photo: Getty Images

The official training and competition schedule, with times listed in UTC, is as follows:


Feb. 13

12:50 p.m. - Women’s Skeleton Official Training #2

3:05 p.m. - Men’s Skeleton Official Training #2


Feb. 14

12:50 p.m. - Women’s Skeleton Official Training #2

3:05 p.m. - Men’s Skeleton Official Training #2


Feb. 15

10 a.m. - Men’s skeleton race heats #1 and #2


Feb. 16

9:30 a.m. - Men’s skeleton race heats #3 and #4

8:20 p.m. - Women’s skeleton race heats #1 and #2


Feb. 17

8:20 p.m. - Women’s skeleton race heats #3 and #4

 

USABS will update daily with the day's quotes.

 

Team USA’s reactions from the first day of official training on Feb. 12 are below:

 

Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.)

(on if training runs feel any different at the Olympic Games)

At the Olympics, it’s different because there are cameras everywhere and people are here. It’s not just a couple of moms and coaches at the track. It’s very cool.


Today wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. I felt like I had really gotten the hang of the track during the last two unofficial training days, but the ice got a lot harder today, so I need to reassess my runner choice. But everything is flowing really well and the ice is in such good condition that it’s hard to be upset.


Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.)

(on her fourth Olympics and whether the feeling of an Olympic Games ever gets old)

I love this. I don’t want to grow up, ever. I’m having a blast and that was what I told myself today, I said ‘You know what? Have fun. This could be your last Games.’ I don’t plan on it being my last Games, but you never know. This only comes once every four years, and these moments, even though this is my fourth Games, I really do cherish them. I can feel the love on the line, and I was really excited to go. I love it when it’s cold out, and it’s sunny today, there are a lot of good things happening.


John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.)

(on staying loose and having fun during the pressure of the Olympics)

I try not to ever mess up anyone else’s game. If they want to stay serious, that’s fine, I’ll stay away from them and respect that. But for me as a person, I just want to enjoy the moment, and I enjoy it best when I’m laughing. This comes once every four years. I’ve had it three times in my life, I don’t know if I’m going to get it a fourth, and it works better for me when I’m happy.


Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.)

(on Chris Mazdzer’s unprecedented medal in men’s luge last night)

I’m living in the same boat as Chris right now and hopefully my journey ends the same way as his did last night. He and I were chatting after his last World Cup race of the season, just going back and forth about how his season went and I said ‘Hey, it’s all about one race this year.’ We were sharing the same sentiments about how this year has gone, so to see him pull it out last night and put together four runs was awesome, and it’s what I’m hoping to replicate as well because my season hasn’t been fantastic.

 

Team USA’s reactions from the second day of official training on Feb. 13 are below:


Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.)

(on having numerous amounts of family and friends traveling to Korea to support her)

Some of them are here, or at least in Korea, already, but I honestly don’t know where most of them are right now. It’s awesome to have people coming and is so cool to have people here, but I’m the type of athlete where I focus on what I need to do until the race, and then enjoy that side of it afterwards.


Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.)

(on her training runs today)

I’m dialing stuff in like testing runners, testing runner rock. I think I got the lines set, I just need to be smoother. I have to focus on my own game. I didn’t realize I was going that fast and I need to try to not think about it. I just need to have faith.


I felt like I was on the edge first run—comfortable edge— and second run I was at the edge or over. I think I found my sweet spot for -8 degree ice. If it gets colder, that’s where I have to take a risk. I feel like if I pray on it and sleep, God will reveal what I should do. I just can’t let my own brain get in the way.


John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.)

(on USA Luge’s performance so far and whether that motivates him)

We watched Chris, and it was definitely inspirational. He did something amazing. We watched the women’s race last night, and they’re on the cusp as well, so if anything, we’re trying to keep up with them.


Chris really put it down when it mattered and that’s the thing: You don’t have to be good all the time, you just have to be good once, or in this case, four times. Watching Chris do that was inspirational, and when a guy like that is on, he’s on, and I know Matt and I can do the same thing when we need to.


Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.)

(on working out the kinks along the 2018 Olympic track)

I think Corner 2 is a bigger challenge for me than Corner 9, I’ve been very inconsistent there this week and I need to figure that out. Your race is over pretty quickly once you mess one of those up.


There has been some good and some bad. I’m killing myself up top, and I need to find out what works for me. The rest of the track I thought was pretty solid, there were still some mistakes, but I’m figuring out some of the key areas. I just need to figure it all out now and put it together.

 

Team USA’s reactions from the third day of official training on Feb. 14 are below:

 

Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.)

(on how she’s feeling heading into her first Olympic race)

These weren’t the training runs I wanted this week, but it’s all about finding the little pieces. I was struggling with corner two yesterday and then all of a sudden five got a little tricky for me. It’s just a matter of putting these things together. I’ve gotten all the corners a couple of times each, just not all at the same time, so my times are what they are right now. If I can manage to do that on race day, line it up, I feel pretty good about my chances.


Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.)

(on having a day off before competition begins)

I prefer this. I like having a day off before the race. It gives me some time to relax and get my race prep done. I just try to stay in ‘Katie World’ and focus on competition.


John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.)

(on his final training runs before race day)

Good. The runs are clean, time seems a little off, but the runs are clean and I’m comfortable here. That’s the biggest thing, four consistent runs will put me in the mix and that’s what we’re trying to do. I’m just figuring out lines today. I had two pretty solid runs, scratching my head a little bit on the time, but I’ll figure it out. Maybe I just over drove today. The ice has been much warmer than it has been the previous days. Tomorrow morning, when we race, it will be much colder. You put a little stock into that.


Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.)

(on where the challenges are on this track)

I think the biggest challenges you’re going to see on this track for most athletes is curve two and nine. If you’ve been watching any of the sliding sports that’s all anyone’s been talking about, and it’s no different for skeleton. I think it’s definitely a track where it’s going to be tough for an athlete to have four really clean, consistent runs, but the athletes that can have cleanest four runs are the ones that will be in position to medal here.


 

For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at amanda.bird@usabs.com, or at (518) 354-2250.