Six USABS athletes honored with federation's annual awards

June 24, 2018, 9:39 p.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

Six USABS athletes honored with federation’s annual awards

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 24, 2018)- Six USA Bobsled & Skeleton athletes received the federation’s annual awards on Saturday evening in Colorado Springs at the team’s end-of-the-year banquet. The gala marked the culmination of USABS’ 2018 National Team Camp, and the chosen athletes were selected for their performance on the ice and their representation of the team’s core values of teamwork, commitment and integrity.


2018 Olympic silver medalist Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.), who led the federation’s charge this season, took home the Women’s Bobsled Athlete of the Year Award, Women’s Bobsled Athletes’ Choice Award and the Team MVP Award. She and Olympic push athlete Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) also earned the federation’s Team of the Year Award. Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) was consistently Team USA’s highest performing skeleton athlete this season and was selected as the Skeleton Athlete of the Year, while John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) was chosen by his teammates to receive the Skeleton Athletes’ Choice Award. Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) earned the Men’s Bobsled Athlete of the Year Award, while Olympic four-man teammate Evan Weinstock (Las Vegas, Nev.) won the Men’s Bobsled Athletes’ Choice Award.


Prior to PyeongChang, Meyers Taylor won seven medals on the World Cup tour this season and finished second in the women’s bobsled overall rankings. She and Gibbs ended the season with the third Olympic medal of Meyers Taylor’s career.


Meyers Taylor compiled a list of every athlete who had pushed for her and recited their names in her acceptance speech.


“Thank you to the coaches, thank you to the staff, it’s meant the world to win this medal as a team,” Meyers Taylor said. “Lauren told me last year that she was going to be in my sled. She moved to Arizona to make it happen and we trained everyday together. She was by my side when [Steve] Holcomb passed, and I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate in my sled.”


In her fourth year on the national team and in her first Olympic Games, Gibbs pushed Meyers Taylor to both the track record and start record in PyeongChang en route to the silver. In 2017-2018, Gibbs also won four World Cup medals with Meyers Taylor and Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.).


“John Daly has a quote that has always stuck with me, and it’s ‘You’ll never forget the day they told you that you were going to be an Olympian,’” Gibbs said. “It’s been an incredible journey. I wish they had video of me when I started, I was pretty terrible, but I’m so thankful for everyone who helped us get to this point.”


Antoine recorded five top-10 World Cup finishes on the way to his second Olympic berth. He finished 11th in PyeongChang.


“It was a tough season for us, and I was definitely no exception to that,” Antoine said. “One of my worst overall seasons, truthfully. For right now, I’m definitely going to go one more season and then feel it out from there. I love it. I really do. It’s been one of the best adventures of my life so far, and hopefully there’s a little bit more.”


Daly finished 16th in PyeongChang, but said after his final run that the result was nearly as meaningful to him as a medal. In 2014, Daly was in medal position in Sochi, but popped a groove on his final run and ended up in 15th. A two-year comeback to the sport culminated in making his third Olympic team. To walk off the ice with his head held high, feeling that he had done his best, was enough, he said.


In his acceptance speech, Daly thanked his 2017-2018 teammates for keeping the tour fun, and also thanked Antoine, one of his best friends in the sport.


“In 2014, I was distraught, I was upset,” he said. “Matt Antoine had just won a bronze medal and the first thing he thought about when he saw me was me. He said ‘Look. We won this medal together. We pushed each other to get better.’ I’ll never forget that moment.”


Before bobsled, McGuffie was best known for his viral football highlight video that showed him hurtling an opposing player while running the ball. For the past three seasons though, the former NFL player has also emerged as one of Team USA’s top push athletes. This year, he raced with Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) to World Cup gold in two-man in Lake Placid, N.Y., followed by a four-man silver the next weekend in Park City, Utah. McGuffie pushed Bascue in both two-man and four-man at the Games, the latter of which saw them finish in the top-10.


McGuffie was not able to attend the awards ceremony, but he recorded a video thanking his teammates and coaches and expressing his gratitude for the success he experienced this season.


Weinstock, who was named Team MVP last season, once again consistently displayed USABS’ values throughout the season, and his teammates recognized him for it by voting him to the Men’s Bobsled Athletes’ Choice Award. Along with McGuffie, Weinstock was also one of Team USA’s top push athletes, and helped pilot Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) to his first career World Cup medal as a pilot, a bronze in two-man in Lake Placid. Weinstock was also named to his first Olympic team, where he pushed Olsen to a team-leading 14th place in two-man and Bascue to ninth place in four-man.


“It really is an honor to be recognized by my teammates,” Weinstock said. “All of my success wouldn’t have been possible without them. The training group I had in Lake Placid last summer taught me everything about the sport. All of your resources have been extremely valuable to me in the sport, and have meant everything to me.”


The four-day camp, which wrapped up the 2017-2018 season and turned the federation’s eyes toward the next Olympic Quad, combined team-building activities and meetings that focused on team culture, nutrition and performance monitoring.


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


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, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Thorne, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl Technique, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Stress Engineering, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at www.usabs.com.

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