Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2014 Olympics Previews: Skeleton


Men's, Women's


Remember how much fun it was to sled ride down a hill? Then remember the sheer terror when you decided to go head-first instead of feet-first? That's basically the difference between Skeleton and Luge. Skeleton requires a lot less inherent skill than Luge because you basically just have to lay as flat as possibly and pray you don't crash. Skeleton was added to the Olympic slate in 2002. Only two athletes have won multiple medals in Skeleton but with three returning medalists from Vancouver along with one from Turin, we could see more repeat medalists this year. Sliders complete four runs down the track with the medals going to the slider with the fastest cumulative time.


Unlike Luge and Bobsled, the Germans have not dominated Skeleton, winning only two medals (both of them coming in Vancouver and neither of them Gold). Three of the six medalists from Vancouver return (Latvia's Martins Dukurs and Russia's Alexander Tretiakov on the Men's side and Germany's Anja Huber on the Women's side). Dukurs currently tops the Men's World rankings wtih his brother Thomass close on his tail. British women occupy two of the top three spots in the women's world rankings with Elizabeth Yarnold and Shelley Rudman sitting in 1st and 3rd respectively. Rudman won Silver in Turin but finished 6th in Vancouver.

US Hopefuls

Matthew Antoine is likely the best chance for the US Men to medal and is currently ranked 3rd in the world rankings. Noelle Pikus-Pace is currently 2nd in the women's world rankings and will look to improve on her 4th place finish in Vancouver when she missed on a medal by a tenth of a second.


It's hard to bet against the Latvian brothers on the Men's side and the Women's competition looks to be a battle between the US (Pikus-Pace) and the two British sliders.

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