2002: Skeleton comes of age, thanks to Utah track

Utah Olympic ParkThe following is an excerpt from a Deseret News article published on February 25, 2002:

Skeleton is listed as a “discontinued event” in the 1998 reference, The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics. “The event is held only when the Olympics are in St. Moritz,” adds author David Wallechinsky. Wrong.

This year skeleton racing made a thrilling return to the Winter Olympics, after competitions held previously in the St. Moritz, Switzerland, Winter Games of 1928 and 1948. This time the sport seems to be here to stay.

It’s hard to understand why it wasn’t always an Olympic sport. Skeleton sliders use the same track as bobsledders, so it’s not a question of a lack of facilities.

Skeleton certainly isn’t boring. The athletes fly down a steep, icy track at speeds reaching 80 mph, riding face-down and head-forward on a sled that looks something like a cafeteria tray with runners.

Dazzling athleticism and personalities captivated the world. Nobody who followed the Salt Lake Games can forget the peak emotional moment when Jim Shea Jr. captured gold, racing along the Utah Olympic Park track with the funeral picture of his Olympian grandfather in his helmet.

In women’s skeleton, the first time ever for the sport, Tristan Gale of Salt Lake City won gold and her friend, firefighter Lea Ann Parsley of Granview, Ohio, took the silver medal. The vivacious 21-year-old Gale and the thoughtful firefighter focused the world’s attention on the sport when they appeared on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show on Friday.

Click here to read the entire article.

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One Response to 2002: Skeleton comes of age, thanks to Utah track

  1. Pingback: WHAT THEY SAID: Surviving Park City in Summer « The Utah Olympic Park Blog

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