Breckenridge’s Uhlaender sits in 8th after first day of competition in Olympic skeleton |

Breckenridge’s Uhlaender sits in 8th after first day of competition in Olympic skeleton

Katie Uhlaender, of Breckenridge, starts the women's second skeleton run at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Thursday, Feb. 10, in the Yanqing district of Beijing.
Dmitri Lovetsky/The Associated Press

Breckenridge resident Katie Uhlaender got the skeleton competition going at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Thursday, Feb. 10, as she competed in the first two heats.

Uhlaender is no stranger to the Olympics: This is her fifth Games as a skeleton athlete. She attended her first Games in 2006 in Torino, Italy, at age 22.

Uhlaender, who will turn 38 this year, is looking to have one of her best Olympic performances. Her best finish was at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, where she placed right off the podium in fourth.

On her first run, she got off to a fast start as she sprinted down the starting stretch with blazing speed to hop on her sled.

Using her feet as a turning rudder, Uhlaender perfectly executed many of the tight turns until she accidentally came in contact with one of the sidewalls, which slowed her speed.

Uhlaender finished her first run in 1 minute, 2.41 seconds to be in ninth place after the first round.

Kelly Curtis, who is Team USA’s first Black skeleton athlete to compete at the Olympics, finished her first run in 1:02.94, which put her in 19th out of 25 competitors after Heat 1.

After a short break, the competition resumed for Heat 2 of the women’s skeleton at Yanqing National Sliding Centre.

Uhlaender was flawless on her second run but finished a couple fractions of a second behind where she did on her first run in a time of 1:02.46.

Uhlaender’s two performances on the first day of skeleton competition combined for a time of 2:04.87, which put her in eighth. Uhlaender had a solid and consistent start with a medal still within reach when competition returns for the last two runs Saturday, Feb. 12.

Curtis finished the first day with a time 1:03.05 on her second run, which combined for a total time of 2:05.99, moving her into 18th place.

Uhlaender and Curtis will shoot for an Olympic medal in the early morning hours Saturday. Heat 3 will begin at 5:20 a.m. and the final heat is set to begin at 6:55 a.m.

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