Lake Placid to Host USA Bobsled & Skeleton Team
24 Oct, 2014
The USA Bobsled & Skeleton Team opened the 2014-2015 sliding season on schedule with a training session at Mount Van Hoevenberg this morning. Athletes are preparing to make a bid for a national team nomination by racing in selection races, which begin Saturday in Lake Placid. Selection races will continue in Park City, Utah before the national team is named on Nov. 9.
"After a couple of weeks of battling warm weather, Tony Carlino and his track crew really came together to get give us the best possible ice," said USA Bobsled & Skeleton Director of Sport Tuffy Latour. "As a coach you get butterflies, goose bumps and everything else that goes along with sliding, just like the athletes. It's just a great feeling to be out here on the track again."
The Lake Placid race schedule is as follows, with all times listed in ET:
Saturday, Oct. 25
10:30 am: Men's and women's two-man bobsled competitions
Thursday, Oct. 30
1 pm: Men's and women's skeleton competitions
Friday, Oct. 31
1 pm: Men's and women's skeleton competitions
Returning Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) commended the Lake Placid track crew for getting the ice ready on schedule despite challenging weather conditions.
"The track was in great shape," Holcomb said. "This track crew really does a great job preparing the track to not only be useable, but relatively fast regardless of what kind of weather and conditions are thrown at them."
Holcomb claimed the 2010 Olympic four-man bobsled gold medal, and earned a bye onto this season's national team after capturing the 2014 Olympic two-man and four-man bobsled bronze medals. After a whirlwind of events following the Games, Holcomb said he wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to the offseason.
"I'm not sure I'm ready to get back to sliding just yet," Holcomb said. "This summer went way too fast, but the season is upon us and the time is now. We have an almost completely new team this year, but so far everybody seems great. They're motivated, and I think it's going to be a great building year. I look forward to seeing what these athletes can do."
Women's bobsled pilots Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) and Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) claimed the 2014 Olympic silver and bronze medals, respectively, to already earn their spot on the national team. Meyers Taylor said she felt great getting back into a sled again.
"Every time you slide Lake Placid you get a little nervous, but it fires you up," Meyers Taylor said. "I took down two rookies today so it was nice to see their reactions. I'm excited for the season and to get the rookies more and more comfortable and ready for World Cup. All the rookies handled day one great, so if this is any indication on how things will go, we're going to have a great season."
Skeleton athletes have their first sliding session from 4-6 pm tonight. Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) has already locked in one of three available positions on the men's World Cup team. Two spots are up for grabs on the women's team, and veteran Annie O'Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) is hoping to put her name on one of them.
"It's still as exciting as the first year to get back on ice," O'Shea said. "You get those nervous butterflies that you were missing all summer and the moment you go down the track it all comes back to you. It's one of those things that never gets old."
"I broke my ankle in 2003 and had it scoped before Torino knowing I'd have to fix it," Uhlaender said. "There was a hole in my talus bone and cartilage and a bone chip that would jam in my joint preventing full power use of my leg. My hip's labrum had turned to bone, so I had another hip surgery replacing my labrum with a new one. I will come back with full use of both legs for the first time since 2008."
Uhlaender and Pikus-Pace have remained in touch since the 2014 Sochi Games, and Uhlaender said her teammate has been "a great source of support for me."
"Noelle, Tuffy and the U.S. Olympic Committee have been so supportive," Uhlaender said. "I have no double this is the right move and that I will come back ready."
Bobsled training is scheduled for 10:30 am every day this week leading up to the competition, while skeleton will train from 4-6 pm this week, and 1-3 pm next week. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
Stay updated on the team's progress leading up to the biggest event of the season by following the team on the USBSF Twitter page or the USA Bobsled & Skeleton Facebook page.
About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation: The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF 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, CEVA Logistics, Eastern European Distribution Company, Boomerang Carnets, Latta Kefir, 24 Hour Fitness, Azad Watches, Park City Lodging, Inc., Ludus Tours, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, EDAS/Ripxx, Tesa Tape, UberSense and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org