Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
USA Bobsled & Skeleton team kicks off New Year with World Cup action in Germany
WINTERBERG, Germany (Dec. 31, 2013)- The USA Bobsled & Skeleton team earned 25 medals in the first three World Cup events of the season, and hopes to ring in the New Year on the podium again as second half kicks off in Winterberg, Germany. With just four events to go before the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the U.S. squad has one goal in mind for 2014: Olympic gold.
“It’s the ultimate goal for everyone,” said bobsledder Steven Holcomb, 2010 Olympic champion. “Every week we are one step closer to the Olympics, and that gold medal is what we’re all chasing this year.”
The Winterberg event features double four-man bobsled races. The race schedule is as follows, with all times listed in local time first and ET in parentheses:
Friday, Jan. 3:
11:20 a.m. (5:20 a.m.): Men’s skeleton heat #1
12:50 p.m. (6:50 a.m.): Men’s skeleton heat #2
3 p.m. (9 a.m.): Men’s two-man bobsled heat #1
4:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m.) Men’s two-man bobsled heat #2
Saturday, Jan. 4:
10 a.m. (4 a.m.): Men’s four-man bobsled heat #1
11:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m.): Men’s four-man bobsled heat #2
1:45 p.m. (7:45 a.m.): Women’s skeleton heat #1
3:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m.): Women’s skeleton heat #2
Sunday, Jan. 5:
9 a.m. (3 a.m.): Women’s bobsled heat #1
11 a.m. (5 a.m.): Women’s bobsled heat #2
12:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m.): Men’s four-man bobsled heat #1
2 p.m. (8 a.m.): Men’s four-man bobsled heat #2
The last time Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) medaled in Winterberg was in a four-man World Cup race in 2009, but the brief hiatus from the podium on the German track is expected to come to an end this weekend. Holcomb earned his 50th career medal in Lake Placid, N.Y. last month, and is 7-for-7 this season. He’ll partner with his 2012 World Championship teammate Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) in Friday’s two-man race. Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) will join Holcomb and Langton in the Night Train2 as they vie for another sweep of the medals.
Army World Class Athlete Program Soldiers Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) claimed two silvers in the first half and hope to extend that momentum into Friday’s two-man race. Cunningham will race with Robinson, Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) and Abe Morlu (Phoenix, Ariz.) in Saturday’s event, while Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) will race in place of Morlu on Sunday.
Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) and Chuck Berkeley (Walnut Creek, Calif.) helped the U.S. complete the first-ever sweep of the two-man medals in Lake Placid to cap the first half of the season. The pair is on target to help the team accomplish a similar goal on Friday. Butner, Berkeley, Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.) and Chris Langton (Melrose, Mass.) will compete together on Saturday, and Andreas Drbal (Belmont, Calif.) will compete in place of Berkeley on Sunday.
Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa) will pair together for the first time this World Cup season in the women’s bobsled competition. Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.) and Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.) will make a dynamic pairing off the start block, and Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) will get a powerful push from track and field star Lauryn Williams (Miami, Fla.). All six men’s and women’s two-man sleds were manufactured by BMW and unveiled in October.
Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) earned her first-ever World Cup victory in 2004 on Winterberg’s track en route to claiming the 2005 overall title. She has two victories, a track record, and a silver medal so far this season, and she doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Her teammate, Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.), will sit out this week, giving Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) a chance to race for points on the elite circuit.
Men’s skeleton competitor Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) concluded first half with a breakthrough performance after winning the Lake Placid event. Stronger than ever, Antoine is a favorite to medal each week leading up to Sochi. John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) also wrapped up first half with their best results of the season, fourth and seventh, respectively.
Five U.S. athletes hold spots in the top-three standings and three athletes are in the top five. Holcomb is ranked first in both two-man and four-man bobsled standings. Cunningham is second in two-man while Butner is fourth. Meyers is first in women’s bobsled rank, Greubel is third and Fenlator is fifth. Antoine moved into third overall in men’s skeleton standings. Despite losing points in the first race, Pikus-Pace is fourth in women’s skeleton rank.
Universal Sports will broadcast the races on TV and online. Please check your local listing for a broadcast schedule.
The Intercontinental Cup tour continues with double races from Jan. 5-6 in Whistler, Canada. Allen Blackwell (Jackson, Miss.), Austin McCrary (Colleyville, Texas) and Greg West (Orange Beach, Ala.) are entered in the men’s skeleton races, while Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Veronica Day (Vienna, Va.) and Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) will compete in the women’s skeleton competitions.
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
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, CEVA Logistics, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, KBC Helmets, Eastern European Distribution Company, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, Inc., EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.