John Daly

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U.S. Olympic skeleton team finalized

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Katie Uhlaender is going to a record fourth Olympics for a U.S. skeleton slider and looking for either her first or second Olympic medal.

The 33-year-old was one of four athletes named to the U.S. Olympic skeleton team on Monday, joining Sochi bronze medalist Matt Antoine, 2010 and 2014 Olympian John Daly and first-time Olympian Kendall Wesenberg.

Uhlaender placed fourth in Sochi, .04 behind Russian bronze medalist Elena Nikitina.

Nikitina’s bronze medal was stripped last year due to doping, and she was barred from the Olympics for life, though she is appealing. Uhlaender waits to see if she will be upgraded from fourth place to bronze.

Antoine, too, could be upgraded since Aleksandr Tretiyakov was stripped of his gold.

Daly was in fourth place after three of four runs in Sochi but finished 15th after slipping at the start of his final run.

He came out of a two-year retirement in 2016, hoping for another chance to author a different ending to his Olympic career.

Wesenberg, 27, is the only American slider to earn a World Cup medal since the start of 2017.

She first learned of the sport while watching bobsled during the 2010 Olympics. Wesenberg finished her degree at Colorado, where she played club soccer, and moved to Utah in 2012 to pursue skeleton.

The best World Cup finish for any American this season is seventh.

The Olympic men’s gold-medal favorites are South Korean Yun Sung-bin and Latvian Martins Dukurs. The top women are Germans Jacqueline Loelling and Tina Hermann and Canadians Elisabeth Vathje and Mirela Rahneva.

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John Daly announces skeleton comeback after Sochi heartbreak

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Skeleton slider John Daly is coming out of a two-year-retirement, seeking to make a third Olympic team after heartbreak at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

“I didn’t have anything else that made me feel the way sliding did,” Daly said, according to The Associated Press. “I have a great life. I’m not complaining. But nothing made me feel more alive than the Olympics.”

Daly was in fourth place after three of four runs at the Sochi Olympics, .04 of a second behind teammate Matt Antoine for bronze-medal position.

His medal hopes evaporated with a slip at the start of his final run, his sled came out of a groove in the ice and he had no chance of recovering the rest of the way down the track. 

Daly finished 15th, came to a stop with his helmet buried in his hands and spoke through tears afterward.

“I don’t regret anything,” Daly said on NBC that night, “but I do wish I could get that last run back for just one more chance. … Now I have four more years to wait.”

After Sochi, Daly went to “a really dark place” and “ran away from everything,” according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton.

“The last picture anyone saw was that awful picture of me sliding through the finish with my head in my hands,” Daly said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “That picture and that last interview where I was trying my hardest to keep it together choking back tears. It was horrible. I was completely devastated. My world fell apart in an instant.”

He decided by June 2014 to end his skeleton career, moving to Washington, D.C., and taking a medical sales job.

But as time went on, Daly began to miss the sport.

“I started to get a tiny smolder of a flame back,” he said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton, which added that he re-entered the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency drug-testing pool in March, the same month he was, jokingly he claimed, a forerunner at the U.S. Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Daly will be eligible to compete for a place on the World Cup team after he completes five competitions on three different tracks.

Olympic bronze medalist Matthew Antoine remains the class of U.S. men’s skeleton, though no Americans made a World Cup podium last season.

“Couldn’t go out like that,” Daly said of Sochi, according to the AP. “I owe this to myself and Team USA.”

MORE: Olympic skeleton champion unretires at age 43

John Daly announces retirement

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Two-time Olympic skeleton athlete John Daly eloquently expressed his retirement on social media Monday, ending a 13-year career.

Daly was in fourth place after three of four runs at the Sochi Olympics, .04 of a second behind teammate Matt Antoine for bronze-medal position.

His medal hopes evaporated with a slip at the start of his final run, his sled came out of a groove in the ice and he had no chance of recovering the rest of the way down the track. Daly finished 15th and spoke through tears afterward.

“I don’t regret anything,” Daly said on NBC that night, “but I do wish I could get that last run back … just one more chance.”

Daly, 28, also finished 17th at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and is one half of the YouTube sensation series Your Daly Nitro with former Olympic Training Center roommate bobsledder Steven Langton.

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