Skeleton Cup takes off

The following article is from

Summit County planner Kimber Gabryszak is temporarily stepping away from her desk job to slide down a track head-first at nearly 80 miles an hour. Gabryszak is just one of 40 athletes competing at the FIBT Skeleton Intercontinental Cup Jan. 19-22 at the Utah Olympic Park.

While this is the last race before the Olympics, it will not be the qualifying race for the Olympic teams, said Cassie Revelli. Revelli is a skeleton racer who took a year off due to an injury and is helping the UOP organize next week’s race. However, the race is still important, she said, because it will help determine how many athletes each country will be allowed to race in World Cup events next year.

Although the U.S. Olympic team will not be named until Jan. 20, Revelli said two athletes have already qualified for three possible men’s spots and the two spots for the women’s team are most likely already decided.

Zach Lund (Salt Lake City) and Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Penn.) have already secured spots on the men’s team. John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Matthew Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.) are currently tied for the third open spot. Revelli said all of the men’s athletes will be competing at the Skeleton Cup in Park City next week.

On the women’s side, the two Olympic spots are most likely to go to Noelle Piakus-Pace (Eagle Mountain) and Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.), she said, although anything can happen. Revelli said the final qualifying race is currently taking place in Canada.

Residents can watch all the athletes as they compete at the UOP by parking in the museum parking lot and walking to the track. Events are free to the public. Training runs will be held Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 19-21, with the race starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 22.

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