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Blaser finishes 21st in men’s skeleton Olympic competition
YANQING, China (February 11, 2022) – Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho) finished 21st in the men’s skeleton Olympic competition at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre tonight. It wasn’t the result Blaser, a first-time Olympian, was hoping for, but he said the friends and the memories he’s made in the sport will last a lifetime.
“The experiences that it’s given me and the people it's brought into my life–some of my closest friends came from this last decade or so that I’ve been involved with USABS,” Blaser said. “Those are people I’ll keep in my life forever, and those things mean a lot more to me than the Olympics.”
Blaser was in 21st position after yesterday’s two heats. He posted a downtime of 3:05.98 in today’s first run, and he remained in 21st place. Blaser narrowly missed the top-20 cutoff for the fourth and final heat. He took a moment at the finish before composing himself for media interviews.
“There’s a lot of emotions that happen at the end of a race,” Blaser said. “I don’t think there’s anything that really preps you for that feeling and it just really feels like a weight just drops on you, and you take a step back and start replaying the entire run and where it got away from you. But we don’t have a clock in front of us, there’s no way to really know. I can feel the big mistakes, I can feel the mistake in 10, I can feel the mistake coming out of 13 that bleed time, but at the end of the run that one felt like it just landed right on my chest. I came out here to represent myself, my family, my country and I want to make sure that I walk away with my head held high. There’s just a lot of associated feelings of almost failure that go with an athletic endeavor when it doesn’t have the result that you want.”
As Blaser was talking to the media, Ander Mirambell from Spain stopped to congratulate him.
“Superstar,” Miramnell said. “We started sliding when he was the first time, and I told you one day you will be in Olympic Games. I said you should believe that you will be here, and now you are here.”
“It kind of goes back to what we had talked about and what I have always put a lot of stock in; it’s the journey getting here,” Blaser said. “ It’s not how you race when you’re here. For some people it is, for me it wasn’t. It was everything that turned me into the athlete, the coach, the slider that I am today. I have to remember that those things are still there, regardless of the outcome of the race.”
Germany’s Christopher Grotheer maintained his overnight lead, winning by a distant 0.66 seconds with a four-run combined time of 4:01.01. He had the fastest runs of the first three heats, and the sixth ranked time of final heat.
Axel Jungk, also from Germany, claimed the silver medal with a total time of 4:01.667. Wengang Yan of China had the race of his career, posting the fastest time in the finale to secure bronze for the host nation. It’s the first Olympic medal in skeleton for China.
For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Christopher Grotheer (GER) 4:01.01 (1:00.00, 1:00.33, 1:00.16, 1:00.52);
2. Axel Jungk (GER) 4:01.67 (1:00.50, 1:00.53, 1:00.31, 1:00.33);
3. Wengang Yan (CHN) 4:01.77 (1:00.43, 1:00.65, 1:00.54, 1:00.15);
21. Andrew Blaser (USA) 3:05.98 (1:01.80, 1:02.08, 1:02.10, DNS)
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. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com. Individuals interested in becoming a bobsled or skeleton athlete can visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.