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Blaser and Florian in the hunt for top 20 of men’s skeleton World Championships

ALTENBERG, Germany (Feb. 27, 2020)– Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho) and Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) finished the first day of men’s skeleton World Championships in 22nd and 24th position, respectively. The developing athletes have little experience on the challenging course. Florian has competed in one World Cup race and two European Cup competitions in Altenberg before, while this is Blaser’s first time racing the German track.

“I like this track, I enjoy it,” Blaser said. “I’ve been struggling in Kreisel and the second run it got away from me. Trying to be dialed in for my first worlds is kind of a big task. Being here for my first big championship and racing the Germans on home ice and on a track with a reputation like Altenberg is going to pay off.”

Blaser pushed off with the 23rd best start time of 5.17 seconds and drove himself up a few spots into 21st with a downtime of 57.54 seconds in the first heat. Florian was just four-hundredths of a second off his teammate’s pace after clocking the 10th best start time of 5.04 seconds for a run of 57.58.

Blaser bettered his start to 5.12 in the second run and posted a time of 57.58 seconds to finish day one in 22nd with a total time of 1:55.12.

“If I can dial it in first run tomorrow, I can close the gap to the top 20,” Blaser said.

Florian was a tad slower in his second push with a 5.10, and he crossed the finish line in 57.71 seconds for a two-run total of 1:55.29. He’s in 24th position heading into tomorrow’s finale.

“I feel good about my start times, but it doesn’t mean anything if I can’t get down the hill,” Florian said. “When my push has been off, my driving has been on and vice versa. It’s unacceptable. I don’t feel as sharp as I did last season and I need to spend some time getting back mentally to where I was last year.”

Germans currently occupy the top three positions. Christopher Grotheer leads with a total time of 1:52.03, and he set a new track record in run two with a run of 55.86 seconds. Alexander Gassner is 0.09 seconds off the pace in second with a cumulative time of 1:52.12. Axel Jungk has a combined time of 1:52.38 for third spot. World Cup title winner Martins Dukurs from Latvia is currently fourth in 1:52.55, and can’t be counted out for the medals.

Racing continues tomorrow with the first two heats of the women’s skeleton competition at 9:30 a.m. local time, followed by the men’s skeleton finale at 1 p.m.

NBC Sports and the Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Christopher Grotheer (GER) 1:52.03 (56.17, 55.86);
2. Alexander Gassner (GER) 1:52.12 (56.21, 55.91);
3. Axel Jungk (GER) 1:52.38 (56.15, 56.23);

22. Andrew Blaser (USA) 1:55.12 (57.54, 57.58);
24. Austin Florian (USA) 1:55.29 (57.58, 57.71);

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, Boomerang Carnets, Qwixskinz, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com.


Church and Williamson finish 19th in two-man bobsled World Championships

ALTENBERG, Germany (Feb. 23, 2020)– Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) and Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.) gained a spot to finish 19th in the two-man bobsled World Championship finale in Altenberg today. It rained throughout the night, creating wet and frosty conditions for today’s final two heats.

“It was a much different day, the ice was much slower from the rain,” Church said. “Overall I’m happy to be able to clean up some things from yesterday, and I’m feeling better heading into four-man. It’s good that I’m experiencing these challenges now, and hopefully I can continue to get better.”

Church and Williamson posted start times of 5.38 and 5.35 seconds today for runs of 57.17 and 56.57 seconds, respectively. His third run was 16th best of the heat, and his final run was 10th fastest. Church and Williamson edged closer to the field and finished 19th with a four-run combined time of 3:44.49.

“Today was a good note to end on in two-man,” said USA Bobsled Head Coach Mike Kohn. “Hunter has the same championship mentality as Kaillie Humphries. He’s 23 years old and this is only his second world championship. He’s doing great.”

Germany’s Francesco Friedrich won his sixth consecutive two-man World Championship today with Thorsten Margis. The duo was dominant, and won by 1.65 seconds with a total time of 3:40.44. Johannes Lochner and Christopher Weber from Germany moved into silver medal position with an aggregate time of 3:42.09. Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis from Latvia denied the Germans a sweep of the medals. The Latvians moved up from fifth to claim the bronze medal with a cumulative time of 3:42.23. Germans Nico Walther and Eric Franke dropped back into fourth.

The 2020 World Championships will continue next week with the women’s and men’s skeleton races, a mixed skeleton team event, and the four-man bobsled competition. Raced pick up again on Thursday, Feb. 27, and will conclude on Sunday, March 1.

NBC Sports and the Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.


Results

1. Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis (GER) 3:40.44 (54.00, 54.09, 55.98, 56.37);

2. Johannes Lochner and Christopher Weber (GER) 3:42.09 (54.59, 54.59, 56.36, 56.55);

3. Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis (LAT) 3:42.23 (54.49, 54.72, 56.35, 56.67);

19. Hunter Church and Josh Williamson (USA) 3:44.49 (55.25, 55.50, 57.17, 56.57);

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, Boomerang Carnets, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.


Humphries and Gibbs lead women’s bobsled World Championships after first two heats

Photo credit: IBSF

ALTENBERG, Germany (Feb. 21, 2020)– Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) currently lead the women’s bobsled World Championships after the first day of racing in Altenberg, Germany. The Americans have a lead of 0.21 seconds, but Humphries isn’t celebrating yet.

“There are still two more runs tomorrow and a lot can happen and change,” Humphries said. “I’m going to treat tomorrow like another race. I’ll debrief with the coaches to go over what worked and what didn’t, and we’ll come back tomorrow with our best.”

Humphries and Gibbs matched Germans Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig at the start with the fastest push time of 5.63 seconds in the opening heat. Humphries guided the Omaze branded sled to the finish in 56.47 seconds to pull away from the Germans by 0.03 seconds.

Germany’s Kim Kalicki and Kira Lipperheide put pressure on the field in the second heat with a run of 56.45 seconds, which moved them ahead of Schneider and Fiebig by a large margin of 0.33 seconds. Humphries and Gibbs responded with a blistering start time of 5.62 and downtime of 56.33 seconds to pull away even further from the field. The U.S. pair has a two-run total of 1:52.80 to give them a lead of 0.21 seconds heading into tomorrow’s final heats.

“It’s great having coach Shauna Rohbock here to go over lines at the finish, because we could debrief right away after each run to make a plan for the next run,” Humphries said. “I’ve been through four heat races before, and it’s not time to get excited yet. There’s still a lot racing left.”

Rohbock is an expert driver to gain advice from, and today is the 14-year anniversary of Rohbock’s silver medal finish at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

Kalicki, who won her first career World Cup medals earlier this season in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Lipperheide and currently in second place with a total time of 1:53.01. Schneider and Fiebig are in third with an aggregate time of 1:53.34. Reigning Olympic champions Mariama Jamanka and Annika Drazek from Germany are also in the medal hunt in fourth position with a cumulative time of 1:53.44.

The deciding heats for the women’s bobsled competition will take place tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. local time, following the opening heats of the men’s two-man bobsled event at 11:30 a.m.

NBC Sports and the Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs (USA) 1:52.80 (56.47, 56.33);
2. Kim Kalicki and Kira Lipperheide (GER) 1:53.01 (56.56, 56.45);
3. Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig (GER) 1:53.34 (56.50, 56.84);

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, Boomerang Carnets, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

Team USA


D’Arpino collects silver and bronze medals in Park City’s women’s monobob event

PARK CITY, Utah (Feb. 17, 2020)– Vanessa D’Arpino (Grants Pass, Ore.) claimed silver and bronze medals in Park City’s two-day women’s monobob event over the weekend to lead the U.S. team. Shelby Williamson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Lake Kwaza (Sycamore, Ill.) also posted strong performances for Team USA, each finishing in the top six both days.

This is D’Arpino’s debut season, and she’s only raced once before this week; she finished 12th in the Lake Placid monobob race in November.

“This season I came in with low expectations, and I didn’t know where I’d end up in the sport,” D’Arpino said. “Starting with rookie camp and push champs for bobsled, to sliding skeleton for a couple weeks, it was a process figuring out where I was going to do. However, I knew bobsled was for me and I was thankful when coach Mike Dionne got me in the driver’s seat. So far I have loved it.”

D’Arpino was close to qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Team as a track athlete, but she fell just short of her goal. The setback turned into an opportunity when USABS Director of Athlete Development Mike Dionne sent her a direct message on Twitter asking if she wanted to consider trying out for the bobsled team.

D’Arpino admits that she initially thought it was “weird,” but after speaking with Dionne on the phone about the opportunity, she decided to give it a try.

“My goal for this year was to learn as much as I could and stay as involved as much as possible,” D’Arpino said. “We discussed a few monobob races early into training, and being the competitive person I am, I joked about reaching the podium after only a couple weeks of driving. Coming into Park City with more confidence and training, I told coach Dionne I was getting that podium, and he was fully supportive. It’s awesome to actually reach that goal.”

The former University of Oregon sprinter was the fastest athlete off the start block in race one with push times of 5.63 and 5.64 seconds. D’Arpino crossed the finish line in 54.89 seconds, which was second best of the heat, and 55.58 seconds to secure the bronze medal in 1:50.47.

Karlien Sleper from the Netherlands was race one’s winner in 1:49.20, while Ashleigh Werner from Great Britain was second in 1:50.38.

Williamson was just off her teammates pace in fourth place with a combined time of 1:51.00 after posting runs of 55.42 and 55.58 seconds. Kwaza, who is easing back into bobsled after joining the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, finished sixth with a combined time of 1:51.38.

“It is so good to be back on ice,” Kwaza said. “I joined the Army right after last season in May. I spent all summer doing Army training and got back on November 1st and right into a sled.”

Kwaza is no stranger to success on the ice. She has four World Cup medals, all won as a push athlete for Elana Meyers Taylor. Since returning to the ice after her Army training, Kwaza has jumped from the back of the sled into the driver’s seat.

“So far I have been extremely frustrated because, like anything new, it takes time and I have a hard time waiting,” Kwaza said. “But the time I’ve spent being in the front seat has been extremely valuable and I’m excited to continue with this path.”

D’Arpino was back on the podium in race two, earning the silver medal with a combined time of 1:58.99 after clocking runs of 57.99 and 1:01.00. Sleper was again victorious, this time with a two-run total of 1:56.63. Marina Silva Tuono from Brazil claimed bronze in 1:59.39.

Kwaza moved up into fifth place in race two after posting runs of 58.67 and 1:01.11 for a total time of 1:59.78. Williamson was sixth in 2:00.29 to place all Team USA competitors in the top six in both races.

Kwaza said she’s been able to use her veteran teammates as extra coaches as she learns in her new role as a driver.

“The drivers that we have on the team are just amazing human beings and are all about Team USA being successful,” Kwaza said. “Not one of them have declined helping me out in any way. No matter what stage I’m at, I have always felt like I’ve had the entire team behind me. Coach Dionne has also been so patient and helpful.”

“I have the best teammates around, and we’re constantly supporting each other,” D’Arpino said. “Lake Kwaza and I have been paired up since day one in the process of learning how to drive and I am her biggest fan. It’s going to be fun to progress as drivers together.”

There are two monobob events remaining this season; in La Plagne, France from March 2-8, and Lake Placid, N.Y. from March 30-April 3.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

Race #1
1. Karlien Sleper (NED) 1:49.20 (54.73, 54.47);
2. Ashleigh Werner (GBR) 1:50.38 (55.30, 55.08);
3. Vanessa D’Arpino (USA) 1:50.47 (54.89, 55.58);
4. Shelby Williamson (USA) 1:51.00 (55.42, 55.58);
6. Lake Kwaza (USA) 1:51.38 (55.67, 55.71);

Race #2

1. Karlien Sleper (NED) 1:56.63 (57.36, 59.27);
2. Vanessa D’Arpino (USA) 1:58.99 (57.99, 1:01.00);
3. Marina Silva Tuono (BRA) 1:59.39 (58.44, 1:00.95);
5. Lake Kwaza (USA) 1:59.78 (58.67, 1:01.11);
6. Shelby Williamson (USA) 2:00.29 (59.48, 1:00.81);

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

Source: TeamUSA


Sigulda to host World Cup season finale this weekend

SIGULDA, Latvia (Feb. 12, 2020)– The 2019-2020 World Cup season will come to a close this weekend in Sigulda, Latvia. USA Skeleton will field three women’s and three men’s athletes in the finale. USA Bobsled athletes will not be racing this weekend, opting instead to spend time in Altenberg, Germany to prepare for the upcoming 2020 World Championships.

The competition schedule for the skeleton races is as follows, with all times listed in local time:

Saturday, Feb. 15

12 p.m.: Men’s skeleton run #1

1:45 p.m.: Men’s skeleton run #2

Sunday, Feb. 16

10 a.m.: Women’s skeleton run #1

11:30 a.m.: Women’s skeleton run #2

Fans can watch the action live and on demand. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup in Sigulda. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app, which is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) will compete for Team USA in the women’s field, while Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) will represent the red, white, and blue in the men’s race.

Henry, Blaser, and Ivanov will be racing on the Latvian track for the first time in their young careers. Wesenberg and Graybill competed in the December 2018 World Cup in Sigulda, finishing 11th and 14th, respectively. Florian has also raced in Sigulda once before when he competed in the 2017 Junior World Championships.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Qwixskinz, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

Source: TeamUSA


Kaillie Humphries Wins Fourth Bobsled World Cup Of The Season In St. Moritz

Can anybody catch Kaillie Humphries? As the world cup season in bobsled approaches its end, the answer is a more and more definitive no. 

Humphries clocked her fourth victory of the world cup season in St. Moritz, Switzerland, further extending her lead in the overall IBSF World Cup standings. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and her 2018 Olympic silver medalist brakewoman Lauren Gibbs tied for the best push (5.5 seconds) on their first run on the Celerina Olympia Bobrun course to secure the lead halfway through the competition with a time of 1 minute. 8.24 seconds. 

Though they recorded only the fifth-best second run in 1:08.94, their overall time of 2:17.18 was enough for the win, edging Germany’s Mariana Jamanka and Kira Lipperheide by 0.16 seconds. The most consistent pair of the day, Germany’s Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig completed the podium 0.01 behind their teammates.

Download the Team USA app today to keep up with bobsled and all your favorite sports, plus access to videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios, and more.

Thirty-four-year-old Humphries, who competed for Canada and has only been representing the United States since November, has already proven herself a valuable asset to Team USA. She and Gibbs began their 2020 season with a pair of wins in Lake Placid, New York, and Humphries drove with Sylvia Hoffman in last week’s victory in Koenigssee, Germany. Humphries also has a bronze medal from Innsbruck, Austria, to her name this season.

The U.S. will be absent from the final world cup competition over Valentine’s Day weekend in Sigulda, Latvia, in order to prepare for the world championships in Altenberg, Germany at the end of February.

With Saturday’s results taken into account, Humphries has accumulated 1,484 points in the world cup standings, extending her lead ahead of Stephanie Schneider, who holds second place with 1,411. 2019 world cup titlist Jamanka is currently third with 1,381.

Source: Blythe Lawrence, Team USA


Florian top American finisher in St. Moritz’s men’s skeleton World Cup

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 30, 2020)– Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) was the top American finisher in this morning’s men’s skeleton World Cup after finishing 19th in St. Moritz. This was Florian’s second career competition on the all-natural track.

Florian was tied for 16th position with Austrian Samuel Maier after a first heat time of 1:08.69. The American bettered his start time from 4.92 to 4.89 seconds in the final heat, and despite a nice looking run Florian fell back three spots with a downtime of 1:09.16. He finished 19th with a combined time of 2:17.85.

Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) and Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho) finished 26th and 29th, respectively. Blaser never competed in St. Moritz before today, and Ivanov had just two European Cup competitions under his belt heading into this week’s race. Ivanov clocked a start time of 5.06 for a run of 1:09.55, while Blaser pushed off the block in 4.90 for a downtime of 1:10.00.

Martins Dukurs from Latvia was today’s victor with a total time of 2:15.89. Germany’s Felix Keisinger claimed the silver medal with a two-run total of 2:16.20, followed closely behind by his teammate Axel Jungk in third with a cumulative time of 2:16.23. Sungbin Yun of Korea was the first run leader, but he fell back into fourth with only the ninth best second heat time. The Chinese are starting to stake their claim in the sport leading into 2022. Wengang Yan and Wenquiang Geng finished seventh and ninth today.

Racing continues with the women’s skeleton competition at 1 p.m. local time. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 2:15.89 (1:07.73, 1:08.16);
2. Felix Keisinger (GER) 2:16.20 (1:07.98, 1:08.22);
3. Axel Jungk 2:16.23 (1:07.79, 1:08.44);
19. Austin Florian (USA) 2:17.85 (1:08.69, 1:09.16);
26. Alex Ivanov (USA) (1:09.55, DNS);
29. Andrew Blaser (USA) (1:10.00, 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. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com.


IBSF World Cup makes seventh stop on famed St. Moritz track

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 29, 2020)– The famed all-natural iced track of St. Moritz will host the seventh of eight stops on the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation World Cup tour this week.

This will be the last World Cup of the season for the U.S. bobsledders. The bobsled team has opted to spend extra time in Germany to prepare for the 2020 World Championships in lieu of traveling to Latvia for the eighth and final World Cup.

The detailed schedule is as follows, with all times listed in local time:

Friday, Jan. 31
9:30 a.m.: Men’s skeleton heat #1

11:15 a.m.: Men’s skeleton heat #2

1 p.m.: Women’s skeleton heat #1

2:45 p.m.: Women’s skeleton heat #2

Saturday, Feb. 1
9:30 a.m.: Women’s bobsled heat #1

11 a.m.: Women’s bobsled heat #2

1 p.m.: Men’s two-man bobsled heat #1

2:30 p.m.: Men’s two-man bobsled heat #2

Sunday, Feb. 2
10 a.m.: Four-man bobsled heat #1

11:30 a.m.: Four-man bobsled heat #2

NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland from January 31- February 2. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app, which is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) will represent Team USA in the women’s skeleton competition, while Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) will compete in the men’s race.

Wesenberg has raced in St. Moritz five times, and she claimed her first career World Cup medal, a silver, on the Swiss course in January 2017. The gliding track suits Wesenberg’s driving style, and she’s a favorite for the medals on Friday. Henry has competed in two Intercontinental Cup competitions in St. Moritz, while Graybill has raced in three World Cup races on the famed track.

Blaser has never competed in St. Moritz before. Ivanov has two European Cup competitions under his belt on the Swiss course, while Florian has raced in one World Cup in St. Moritz.

Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) will team together for the fifth time this season. Humphries and Gibbs started the season with double gold medals. Humphries has a history of success in St. Moritz, having earned three World Cup medals and the 2013 World Championship title there.

St. Moritz is one of the few tracks outside of North America that Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) has some experience on. Church raced to 15th place in the 2018 Junior World Championships in Switzerland. Church will race with Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.) in Saturday’s two-man race. Williamson, Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) will be Church’s push crew on Sunday in the four-man completion, which is the final four-man race of the World Cup season.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

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Two Americans in top 10 of women’s skeleton World Cup in Koenigssee

KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Jan. 24, 2020)– The U.S. women’s skeleton team posted impressive performances in this morning’s World Cup race in Koeniggssee, with Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) finishing sixth, Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.) ninth, and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) 14th.

“Our athletes did a great job of getting each section nailed down this week during training and trusting that they could put it together on race day,” said USA Skeleton Technical and Development Lead Coach Caleb Smith. “Megan hasn’t been here in four years, and she did an exceptional job of piecing it together today. Savannah struggled with a combination on the track, and ripped through the door on her second run today. It was really great to see those breakthroughs.”

Henry said training was challenging this week, and that she nearly crashed a few times.

“I really struggled with Kreisel this week and almost lost my sled a couple times,” Henry said. “It made me super anxious, but those types of things need to happen. I was squeaking by early in the week, but I wasn’t doing the correct things. Almost crashing made me hyper focus.”

Henry is fresh off her first career World Cup medal, bronze, in last week’s race in Igls, Austria, and she was knocking on the door of the medal stand again today. Henry has raced in six Intercontinental Cup competitions in Koenigssee before this week, but never a World Cup. Henry posted push times of 5.06 and 5.01 seconds, fifth best of both heats, to put her in medal contention from the start. She was in seventh position after a first downtime of 51.98 seconds, and moved up a spot with a second heat run of 51.87 seconds. Henry finished sixth with two-run total of 1:43.86.

“My goal today was to have two consistent runs, and I’m really happy with where I ended up,” Henry said. “When I crossed the finish line and Tuffy (Latour) told me my time, I said, ‘what, that sounds pretty good.’ It was really exciting. I was not expecting to be in the top six, and I can’t be disappointed with that.”

Team Germany finished 1-2 today. Tina Hermann broke the track record in the second heat with a downtime of 51.24 seconds on the way to securing the gold medal with a cumulative time of 1:42.79. Jacqueline Loelling finished second in 1:42.97, followed by Russian Elana Nikitina in third with an aggregate time of 1:43.20.

Graybill started off with the 20th best start time of 5.22 seconds, and drove herself up into 12th position with a downtime of 52.24 seconds. She bettered her start to 5.18 in run two, and threaded together a flawless run of 51.80 seconds. Smith pumped his fist in the coach’s box in celebration when Graybill crossed the finish line. Graybill’s combined time of 1:44.04 moved her up three spots into ninth for her best finish this season, and her best career World Cup result in Koenigssee.

In her eighth career race in Koenigssee, Wesenberg finished 14th with a two-run total time of 1:44.72. Wesenberg posted start times of 5.25 and 5.26 seconds for runs of 52.30 and 52.42 seconds, respectively.

Racing continues this afternoon with the men’s skeleton competition at 3:30 p.m. local time. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Tina Hermann (GER) 1:42.79 (51.55, 51.24);
2. Jacqueline Loelling (GER) 1:42.97 (51.64, 51.33);
3.  Elana Nikitina (RUS) 1:43.20 (51.61, 51.59);
6. Megan Henry (USA) 1:43.86 (51.98, 51.87);
9. Savannah Graybill (USA) 1:44.04 (52.24, 51.80);
14. Kendall Wesenberg (USA) 1:44.72 (52.30, 52.42);

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

Source: Team USA


Koenigssee hosts sixth stop of IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup tour

Mike Kohn

KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Jan. 22, 2020)– Koenigssee will host the sixth of eight stops of the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup tour this week. The German track was completed in 1968, and was the first artificially refrigerated track in the world.

The competition schedule is as follows, with all times listed in local time:

Friday, Jan. 24

11:30 a.m.: Women’s skeleton run #1

1 p.m.: Women’s skeleton run #2

3:30 p.m.: Men’s skeleton run #1

5:15 p.m.: Men’s skeleton run #2

Saturday, Jan. 25

12 p.m.: Women’s bobsled run #1

1:30 p.m.: Women’s bobsled run #2

3 p.m.: Men’s two-man bobsled run #1

4:30 p.m.: Men’s two-man bobsled run #2

Sunday, Jan. 26

1:30 p.m.: Four-man bobsled run #1

3 p.m.: Four-man bobsled run #2

Fans can watch the action live and on demand. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup in Koenigssee. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app, which is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) will compete for Team USA in women’s skeleton. Henry is fresh off her first career World Cup medal, bronze, in last week’s race in Igls, Austria, and she’s hungry for the medals once more. Henry has raced in six Intercontinental Cup competitions in Koenigssee before this week. Graybill has the most experience of the three women with eight races in Koenigssee on her resume, including a 16th place finish in the 2017 World Championships. Wesenberg has raced on the German track seven times, including fourth place finishes in the 2014 European Cup that helped her secure the 2015 overall title.

Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) will follow the women on Friday in the men’s skeleton competition. This is Blaser’s first time in Koenigssee, and only Florian’s third. Ivanov has competed in Koenigssee six times in various European Cup and Intercontinental Cup races.

In women’s bobsled, Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) will again team with Sylvia Hoffman (Arlington, Texas). The duo claimed bronze together in last week’s Igls race. Humphries is no stranger to success in Koenigssee– she’s earned seven World Cup medals and two World Championship medals on the track. The last time she raced the German course was in January 2018, when she finished second for Team Canada.

Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) is once again learning a new track. The 23-year-old will race with Kyle Wilcox (Tampa, Fla.) in Saturday’s two-man competition. Church’s four-man crew for Sunday will be Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.), Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.). Church had a breakthrough last weekend, when he claimed his first career four-man bobsled World Cup bronze medal with Williamson, Reed and Horn. It was the first World Cup medal in three years for a U.S. men’s team on foreign soil.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

Source: TeamUSA


Blaser leads USA Skeleton in fifth career World Cup

IGLS, Austria (Jan. 17, 2020)– Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho) led the U.S. in this morning’s men’s skeleton World Cup in Igls with an 18th place finish. It was the first time Blaser has raced in Igls. Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) finished 26th and 28th, respectively.

This is Blaser’s World Cup debut season, and his first time racing the European tracks. Today was the fifth World Cup race of Blaser’s career, and the first time he’s qualified for the second heat. Blaser was the only North American to make the top 20 today.

“We knew it was going to be a development year for me,” Blaser said. “It was my first time in La Plagne (France), my first time in Winterberg (Germany), my first time here– I’m getting those first runs under my belt this season. It was overwhelming at first, but it’s exciting and things are starting to come together over time.”

The Igls track favors fast starters, which gave Blaser a boost today. He posted a first run start time of 5.01 seconds, which was 10th best of the field, and raced to the finish in 53.27 seconds for 19th place to qualify for the second heat. Only the top 20 athletes after the first heat are granted a second run.

“I was elated,” Blaser said.

He nearly matched his first run start time in heat two with a push of 5.02, and moved up a spot with a downtime of 53.05 seconds. Blaser finished 18th with a combined time of 1:46.32.

When USA Skeleton Head Coach Tuffy Latour handed Blaser the phone for this interview, his first reaction was, “Did my mom get Tuffy’s number?”

“This is all new to me,” Blaser said.

Latvian Martins Dukurs was today’s winner in 1:44.50. Reigning Olympic champion Sungbin Yun of Korea was a distant 0.42 seconds behind in second place with a total time of 1:44.92. Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov claimed the bronze medal in 1:44.94.

Florian and Ivanov both missed the top 20 cutoff for the second heat. Florian clocked the 22nd best start time of 5.11, and slid to the finish in 53.63 seconds for 26th. Ivanov was 28th fastest off the start with a push time of 5.17, and he maintained 28th place at the finish with a downtime of 53.74.

The women’s skeleton race is up next at 2 p.m. local time. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the Igls races. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results

1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 1:44.50 (52.34, 52.16);
2. Sungbin Yun (KOR) 1:44.92 (52.66, 52.26);
3. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:44.94 (52.53, 52.41);
18. Andrew Blaser (USA) 1:46.32 (53.27, 53.05);
26. Austin Florian (USA) (53.63, DNS);
28. Alex Ivanov (USA) (53.74, 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. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter.


World Cup makes fifth stop in Igls, Austria

Photo credit: Mike Kohn

IGLS, Austria (Jan. 16, 2020)– The fifth stop of the bobsled and skeleton World Cup tour will take place in Igls, Austria starting tomorrow through the weekend. The detailed schedule is as follows, with all times listed in local time:

Friday, Jan. 17

10 a.m.: Men’s skeleton run #1

11:45 a.m.: Men’s skeleton run #2

2 p.m.: Women’s skeleton run #1

3:30 p.m.: Women’s skeleton run #2

Saturday, Jan. 18

10 a.m.: Women’s bobsled run #1

11:30 a.m.: Women’s bobsled run #2

2 p.m.: Two-man bobsled run #1

3:30 p.m.: Two-man bobsled run #2

Sunday, Jan. 19

1:30 p.m.: Four-man bobsled run #1

3 p.m.: Four-man bobsled run #2

Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) will kick off the Igls event in the men’s skeleton race tomorrow morning, followed by Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) in tomorrow afternoon’s women’s skeleton race. This is the first time racing in Igls for Blaser, the fourth for Florian, and the sixth for Ivanov. Graybill has the most experience of any U.S. skeleton athlete on the roster in Igls. This will be her 14th competition on the Austrian track. It will be the ninth race for Henry in Igls, and the eighth for Wesenberg.

In women’s bobsled, Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) will team with Sylvia Hoffman (Arlington, Texas) for the first time. The last time Humphries raced in Igls was in 2017, when she finished fourth. The two-time Olympic champion has claimed three World Cup medals in Austria over the years, and the 2016 World Championship silver medal. Humphries also won the women’s four-man bobsled exhibition race in 2016. Hoffman was a participant in season 2 of “The Next Olympic Hopeful,” and she excelled as a rookie last season.

Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) once again learned another new track this week. The 23-year-old will race with season 1 winner of “The Next Olympic Hopeful” Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.) in two-man on Saturday. Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) will join Williamson as Church’s four-man push crew on Sunday.

NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup in Igls from Jan. 17-19. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com.

Source; TeamUSA


Ro leads USA Skeleton in North American Cup finale with two gold medals

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Jan. 7, 2020)– USA Skeleton athletes captured two spots in the top-three North American Cup standings, and collected five medals in the Lake Placid finale this week. Mystique Ro (Nokesville, Va.) led the way for the women’s team with two gold medals and wrapped up her season ranked third overall. Chris Strup (Defiance, Ohio) concluded a successful North American Cup tour ranked second overall in the men’s field, and secured two silver medals in Lake Placid. Daniel Barefoot (Johnstown, Pa.) earned the fifth medal this week for USA Skeleton by claiming silver in today’s finale.

Two single-heat races were held yesterday, and a two-heat race concluded the skeleton North American Cup season today.

Ro struggled in yesterday’s opening heat, finishing sixth with a run of 55.96 seconds. She said one-heat races are tough because you have “one shot, so you have to make it count.”

“Once that was in the books, I had to scrap it and move on,” Ro said.

Kellie Delka of Puerto Rico won with a run of 55.50 seconds. Yuxi Li from China claimed silver with a time of 55.52, and Korean Eunji Kim was third with a downtime of 55.60. Ro was the highest U.S. finisher in sixth.

Ro rebounded in yesterday’s second one-heat race, posting the fastest run of 55.69 seconds to capture her first victory of the week by 0.01 seconds over Kim. Canadian Jaclyn Laberge earned bronze in 55.82.

In today’s two-heat competition, Ro was in third position after a first heat time of 56.03 seconds. She made up nearly half a second to overtake the lead with a second run of 55.83, earning another gold medal with a combined time of 1:51.86.

“The second win is a great feeling,” Ro said. “I tried to play it safe during my first run, but I made some mistakes. I talked to Matt (Antoine) between heats and made the adjustment before I went down for my final run. I think this was crucial for me to learn that I can be confident in my training and in the knowledge I have gained to be able to put two runs together in competition. The support of my teammates and coaches has been great. I’m excited to continue training and see how we all progress.”

Laberge finished second to Ro with an aggregate time of 1:52.06, followed by Kim in third with a total time of 1:52.18.

Ro’s Lake Placid performances helped her secure third place overall in North American Cup points, despite missing three of the eight races this season while racing the European Cup. Kim claimed the title with 373 points. Nicole Rocha Silveira from Brazil finished second overall with 301 points, while Ro was close behind in third with 290 points.

Lauren McDonald (Fairfield, N.J.) had strong performances in her first-career competitive season. The up-and-coming competitor finished 12th and eighth yesterday, and 12th again today. McDonald and Ro are two of the fastest starters on the tour. McDonald pushed a start time of 5.32 seconds yesterday, and Ro pushed a 5.33. McDonald finished the season ranked fourth with 287 points.

Michelle Toukan (Central City, Neb.) placed 19th and 10th yesterday, and wrapped up her season with an impressive sixth place finish today. She is ranked fifth overall with 271 points. Emily Schelberg (Annapolis, Md.) was 18th and 14th yesterday, and she did not finish today’s competition after a crash in the first heat.

In the men’s field, Strup cracked into the top-six in the final stop season, earning two silver medals and a fourth-place finish. Strup claimed double silver medals in yesterday’s single-heat races. His first silver medal was earned with a run of 53.89 seconds. Wenhao Chen from China was victorious in 53.52, while Ander Mirambell from Spain was third in 54.15 seconds.

Strup claimed silver again in yesterday’s second competition with a downtime of 54.33 seconds. Wenhao was golden in 53.73, and Zilong Zhu from China earned bronze in 54.37.

Strup narrowly missed the medals today, finishing a mere one-hundredth of a second from bronze with a combined time of 1:49.04 for fourth place. Strup finished the season ranked second overall with 346 points.

Barefoot was today’s men’s medalist for the U.S. The Intercontinental Cup competitor posted the fastest run of 53.98 seconds in the first heat, and fell back by just 0.06 seconds in the second heat to finish with the silver medal. Wenhao swept the men’s races. He won today with a combined time of 1:48.24, followed by Barefoot with a 1:48.30, and Zilong in third with a cumulative time of 1:49.03.

“I knew that I’ve had enough runs here to win, but I would have to be at my best,” Barefoot said. “I think that self-inflicted pressure caused some unnecessary tension, but I’m glad to have experienced that and learned how to handle it. Just a couple big mistakes spoiled my runs for races six and seven, so I was pretty happy to clean them up a bit and dip into the 53’s on an overall slower day in race eight. I’m most excited about how much our team is improving overall. Everyone is making significant progress and walking with a little confidence their steps! It’s pretty cool to be around.”

Mirambell claimed the overall title with 370 points. Strup was second, and Nathan Crumpton from American Somoa finished third with 345 points.

Barefoot was fourth and fifth yesterday, and he finished the North American Cup season ranked seventh overall. He spent most of his time racing the Intercontinental Cup, thus missed points from three North American Cup races.

Kyler Sultemeier (Fredericksburg, Texas) concluded his first competitive season ranked 14th. He finished 12th in both of yesterday’s races, and 10th today. Hunter Williams (Carnegie, Pa.) also finished his first racing season. Williams finished 17th, 14th, and 17th, and is ranked 21st.

The North American Cup will officially conclude tomorrow with three four-man bobsled competitions in Lake Placid. Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

Results


Women’s skeleton race #1
1. Kellie Delka (PUR) 55.50;
2. Yuxi Li (CHN) 55.52;
3. Eunji Kim (KOR) 55.60;
6. Mystique Ro (USA) 55.96;
12. Lauren McDonald (USA) 56.93;
18. Emily Schelberg (USA) 57.65;
19. Michelle Toukan (USA) 59.13;

Women’s skeleton race #2
1. Mystique Ro (USA) 55.69;
2. Eunji Kim (KOR) 55.70;
3. Jaclyn Laberge (CAN) 55.82;
8. Lauren McDonald (USA) 56.59;
10. Michelle Toukan (USA) 56.78;
14. Emily Schelberg (USA) 57.42;

Women’s skeleton race #3
1. Mystique Ro (USA) 1:51.86 (56.03, 55.83);
2. Jaclyn Laberge (CAN) 1:52.06 (55.78, 56.28);
3. Eunji Kim (KOR) 1:52.18 (55.90, 56.28);
6. Michelle Toukan (USA) 1:53.43 (56.56, 56.87);
12. Lauren McDonald (USA) 1:54.49 (56.80, 57.69);
Emily Shelberg (USA) (DNF)

Men’s skeleton race #1
1.Wenhao Chen (CHN) 53.52;
2. Chris Strup (USA) 53.89;
3. Ander Mirambell (ESP) 54.15;
4. Daniel Barefoot (USA) 54.21;
12. Kyler Sultemeier (USA) 55.32;
17. Hunter Williams (USA) 55.95;

Men’s skeleton race #2
1.Wenhao Chen (CHN) 53.73;
2. Chris Strup (USA) 54.33;
3. Zilong Zhu (CHN) 54.37;
5. Daniel Barefoot (USA) 54.62;
12. Kyler Sultemeier (USA) 55.95;
14. Hunter Williams (USA) 56.30;

Men’s skeleton race #3
1.Wenhao Chen (CHN) 1:48.24 (54.17, 54.07);
2. Daniel Barefoot (USA) 1:48.30 (53.98, 54.32);
3. Zilong Zhu (CHN) 1:49.03 (54.67, 54.36);
4. Chris Strup (USA) 1:49.04 (54.40, 54.64);
10. Kyler Sultemeier (USA) 1:51.21 (55.60, 55.61);
15. Hunter Williams (USA) 1:52.46 (56.25, 56.21);

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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.


Ro leads USA Skeleton with sixth place finish in Koenigssee’s European Cup

KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Dec. 15, 2019)– Mystique Ro (Nokesville, Va.) finished sixth in the women’s skeleton European Cup race in Koenigssee today as the top U.S. finisher. It was Ro’s career-best European Cup finish, besting her former personal record by three places.

“This has been a trip with a lot of new information flooding in every week,” said Ro, who’s never raced on the European tracks before this season. “It’s been challenging, but fun. Koenigssee has definitely been a track that has tested my confidence. I had some rough training runs, so I watched sleds for six-plus hours a day throughout the week. It was nice to see things click at the end of the trip and to end with a solid personal record.”

Ro has a huge advantage at the start, and she gave herself the lead right off the block today with push times of 5.08 and 5.04 seconds. Both runs of 53.86 and 53.31 seconds were sixth best of each heat. Mystique’s total time of 1:47.17 placed her in sixth.

The European Cup took place in conjunction with the Intercontinental Cup, and Ro said she enjoyed having teammates with her who were also learning the foreign tracks for the first time.

“I’m glad I had the support and encouragement of my teammates as a majority were sliding here for the first time and having similar issues,” Ro said. “Matt (Antoine) has been great at keeping us focused and very encouraged throughout training.”

Ro was ninth yesterday with a combined time of 1:49.11. She clocked starts of 5.13 and 5.06 for runs of 54.96 and 54.15 seconds, respectively.

Kristen Hurley (Columbia, Conn.) just missed yesterday’s top-20 cutoff for the second heat with a run of 56.98 seconds, which placed her in 21st. She moved up four spots today to 17th with a total time of 1:50.43 after clocking runs of 55.67 and 54.76.

British competitor Amelia Coltman claimed gold yesterday in 1:46.21. Germans Josefa Schellmoser and Hanna Staub earned silver and bronze with total times of 1:46.83 and 1:47.42, respectively. Endija Terauda from Latvia was today’s winner in 1:45.78. Luisa Hornung from Germany claimed silver in 1:45.94, while Coltman secured bronze in 1:46.46.

Austin McCrary (Colleyville, Texas) was the sole men’s competitor in Koenigssee. He finished 10th yesterday with a combined time of 1:44.78 and 12th today in 1:43.85. McCrary’s best push time over the two days was 4.99 yesterday, and he posted the sixth-best time of yesterday’s second heat to show his potential on the German track.

Please direct media inquiries to the USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at amanda.bird@usabs.com.

Results

Women’s skeleton race #1
1. Amelia Coltman (GBR) 1:46.21 (53.39, 52.82);
2. Josefa Schellmoser (GER) 1:46.83 (53.47, 53.36);
3. Hanna Staub (GER) 1:47.42 (53.85, 53.57);
9. Mystique Ro (USA) 1:49.11 (54.96, 54.15);
21. Kristen Hurley (USA) (56.98, DNS);

Women’s skeleton race #2
1. Endija Terauda (LAT) 1:45.78 (52.93, 52.85);
2. Luisa Hornung (GER) 1:45.94 (53.27, 52.67);
3. Amelia Coltman (GBR) 1:46.46 (53.46, 53.00);
6. Mystique Ro (USA) 1:47.17 (53.86, 53.31);
17. Kristen Hurley (USA) 1:50.43 (55.67, 54.76);

Men’s skeleton race #1
1. Felix Seibel (GER) 1:43.37 (51.77, 51.60);
2. Lukas David Nydegger (GER) 1:43.45 (51.74, 51.71);
3. Krists Netlaus (LAT) 1:43.71 (51.66, 52.05);
10. Austin McCrary (USA) 1:44.78 (52.68, 52.10);

Men’s skeleton race #2

1. Amedeo Bagnis (ITA) 1:42.35 (50.97, 51.38);
2. Cedric Renner (GER) 1:42.48 (51.35, 51.13);
3. Krists Netlaus (LAT) 1:42.50 (51.44, 51.06);
12. Austin McCrary (USA) 1:43.85 (52.02, 51.83);

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, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.


USA BOBSLED 2014 Olympians Silver Medalists

Nebraska native Curt Tomasevicz now has a silver medal for the 2014 Olympics — five years after the Olympic games.

Tomasevicz and the U.S. Men’s Bobsled team received their medals during a ceremony in Los Angeles Tuesday night.

The team’s bronze medals were upgraded after the Russian team was stripped of their gold medals for alleged doping.

Latvia’s team now has the gold.

“I think people felt bad we didn’t get the original experience but this time it was just celebrating our team – there was no one else on the podium. And it was great to do it on U.S. soil,” said Curt Tomasevicz.

The U.S. four-man team included Tomasevicz, Chris Fogt, Steve Langton and the late Steven Holcomb.

“Our pilot Steve Holcomb is no longer with us,” Tomasevicz said. “That’s the part that may bother me the most. Our podium moment has kind of been taken away from us. We didn’t get to celebrate together as a team and that’s just never going to happen now.”

Tomasevicz, the other two remaining members of the team, and Holcomb’s family are now using this opportunity to honor Holcomb.

“It’s really hard to explain whether it should be excitement or relief or what it is I guess, because he won’t be there to celebrate with us,” Tomasevicz said. “And I don’t know that we feel full justice has been served.”

While Tomasevicz and the team received their new medals on Tuesday night, they had to give the medals back after the ceremony. A grammatical error in the medal’s engraving must be fixed before the team receives their permanent medals.

Tomasevicz was also part of the 2010 Men’s Bobsled team that received gold in Vancouver.

He has retired from bobsledding and is an engineering professor at the University of Nebraska.

Original Source: 1011 Now


VKTRY Performance Insoles Embrace Carbon Fiber For Energy Return

If just a touch of carbon fiber can provide benefits for athletes, then VKTRY founder Matt Arciuolo figured engineering a full-length carbon fiber insole had a range of untapped potential. Following nearly a decade of research and development, all sparked by an effort to provide the USA Olympic bobsled team more explosiveness on their starts, Arciuolo patented a carbon fiber footwear insole customizable to provide performance benefits for athletes far beyond the bobsled. 

VKTRY, now four years beyond that patent and three years since producing its first commercial insoles, has made inroads in major college and professional sports the country over, gaining backing from LSU’s director of athletic training Jack Marucci, now-retired Lakers trainer Gary Vitti, Red Sox doctor James Creps and a handful of professional athlete endorders. 

“Insole inserts are passive devices designed to absorb shock, but they don’t generate energy or return energy to the athlete,” Arciuolo says. “Instead of a passive device, I designed this carbon fiber insole to store energy and return it.” 

The process works in four steps, all using the impressive strength-to-weight ratio of carbon fiber. When the heel hits the ground, the VKTRY insole absorbs the shock of the heel strike and returns it like a trampoline, Arciuolo says. When the second phase of an athlete’s gate moves their full body weight over the middle of the insert, the arched design deflects and adds cushioning. “The third phase is where the magic happens,” he says. When athletes pick their heel up to take a step or jump, the carbon fiber stores the energy at the ball of the foot, returning it in the toe-off phase — phase four — “where all the energy stored in the first three phases is returned.” The insole isn’t generating energy on its own, instead using an athlete’s energy and returning it to them for efficiency and explosion.

Using independent studies, including one from Southern Connecticut State University, VKTRY CEO Steve Wasik says science backs that claims, showing the company’s insoles provide over a 9 percent rate of force development, basically explosiveness, than not using the product. 

The carbon fiber is engineered with multiple layers of fibers in different lengths, makeups and directions to offer flexibility where needed and stability in other areas. 

VKTRY was designed for use across multiple sports — major footwear brands from Nike to Asics have started employing carbon fiber in long-distance running shoes for linear benefits — and Wasik says they’ve seen adoption from football to baseball, but have found basketball and volleyball players especially enjoy the energy return for higher jumping ability and less force upon landing. “We hear some great stories from athletes who have suffered from sore knees or shin splints and the pain is gone,” he says. 

The original bobsled design requiring the insole to fit in the tight confines of a spike helped create a product ideal for all athletes, Arciuolo says. “The challenge was not only getting something that worked in terms of propulsion, but also that fit in the shoe,” he says. The carbon fiber portion of the product weighs less than an ounce and is less than a millimeter thick. A proprietary polyurethane top cover provides additional comfort. 

VKTRY isn’t a one-size fits all proposition, with Arciuolo calling it a “truly customized product.” It comes in five different “pro levels,” which are basically different flex levels. Lighter athletes with smaller feet require more flex than a 320-pound football player. To get the same propulsion performance, insoles require customization based on sport, weight and foot size, so an algorithm helps find the best flex level for each athlete. The insole is further customized by sport, using different thickness and sizes. 

“The VK is the best combination of injury protection and performance I have ever seen in insoles,” Vitti says. 

Endorsers of the brand also include Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays, Anthony Miller of the Chicago Bears, Josh Norman of the Washington Redskins, Lexie Brown of the Minnesota Lynx, Myles Jones of Chaos Lacrosse Club, George Springer of the Houston Astros, CrossFit world champion Annie Thorisdottir and plenty more. 

Creps says that “for the first time, athletes can experience stabilization, shock absorption and propulsion in a device that is specifically tailored to their size and weight. This is a game changer.” 

Written by Tim Newcomb; Forbes


Steven Holcomb’s Olympic legacy to grow, for a final time

U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb is getting one last victory celebration.

A long overdue one.

More than 2 1/2 years after his death — and almost six years removed from the bobsled races in question — Holcomb and his team are about to finally be presented the silver medals that they should have received at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Holcomb and teammates Steven Langton, Chris Fogt and Curt Tomasevicz were originally awarded bronze medals, which were eventually upgraded after a long probe of the Russian doping scandal that now overshadows those games.

deBotech, Inc. Built the sleds that brought the 2014 men home with the now, silver medal.

The medal reallocation will take place at the Team USA Awards in Los Angeles. Langton, Fogt and Tomasevicz are all expected to attend, as is longtime U.S. bobsled coach Brian Shimer and other top American sliding officials. Holcomb, who was 37 when he died in his sleep at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York in May 2017, will be represented by his family.

“I think the word that comes to mind most quickly is bittersweet,” said Jean Schaefer, Holcomb’s mother. “It’s certainly a great honor for Steven and I’m so very, very proud of him — as I have been so very proud of him his whole life. But there’s also a great sadness that he’s not here to enjoy the fruits of his efforts and to celebrate with his team.”

It took years to get to this point: Russia, which won the two- and four-man bobsled races at the 2014 Games on its home ice, was stripped of those titles in November 2017 after the long investigation into the state-sponsored doping program at that Olympics.

But it took the International Olympic Committee until this past March to formally reallocate the medals. Latvia was upgraded to gold in four-man, with Britain moving up to bronze. In two-man, Switzerland eventually was elevated to gold, with Latvia up to bronze.

The U.S., which left Sochi with bronzes from both races, is now recognized as the silver medalist in both. Holcomb and Langton were in the two-man sled; Holcomb drove Langton, Fogt and Tomasevicz in the four-man race.

“Holcomb made such an impact on so many people’s lives,” said Kaillie Humphries, the longtime Canadian bobsledder and two-time Olympic women’s champion who is now competing for the U.S. “He was the best.”

Holcomb, who had prescription sleeping pills and alcohol in his system on the night that he died and was so depressed by failing eyesight in 2007 that he attempted suicide, was by far the best bobsledder in the U.S. program — perhaps ever. He was a winner of at least 60 World Cup medals, more than a dozen World Cup championship trophies and the various awards from his career are scattered about the homes of his relatives.

His mother’s intention for the silver medals is that they be donated to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee archives. The USOPC was in possession of Holcomb’s bronze medals, as a gift from his family, when they had to be surrendered to the IOC in order to receive the new silvers.

“Steven once told me that his medals weren’t just medals for him or his team,” Schaefer said. “They were medals for his country. They represented America and he was very proud of that and I think he would be very proud to know that his medals reside where people can see them and enjoy them.”

Holcomb would have been a lock for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team as well, where he could have added to his medal haul — he drove the U.S. to gold in the four-man race at the 2010 Vancouver Games, ending a 62-year drought for the Americans in bobsledding’s signature race.

His mother went to Pyeongchang last year instead, representing her son and his memory. The grieving process is not over, though Tuesday’s event is certain to bring back happy thoughts as well.

“I’m as OK as I can be,” Schaefer said. “I don’t know if a parent ever gets over the loss of a child, because it’s certainly not the natural order of things. And I have to say that the support of his teammates and the Olympic family is incredible. Just incredible. You feel the love all the time.”

She will feel it again Tuesday, one more time.