LAKE PLACID - The Olympic village will once again host the bobsled and skeleton FIBT World Championships this week and next. Athletes from more than 20 nations are expected to vie for the crown at Mount Van Hoevenberg, as the U.S. team hopes to gain momentum toward the 2014 Winter Olympic Games by medaling on their home track.
"The World Championships are the pinnacle event of the season and a great gauge for our teams leading into the Olympic Games," said Scott Novack, U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation High Performance Director. "Our athletes and coaches look forward to the opportunity to compete against the world's best, and hope to continue the successful legacy we have on this track."
The two-time Olympic village has staged eight World Championship races. The most recent was in 2009 when Steven Holcomb of Park City, Utah piloted his four-man bobsled to victory to claim the first title for the men since 1959. Shauna Rohbock of Park City, Utah earned silver that same year to continue a history of success for the women's program.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News File Photo
USA-1 four-man driver Steve Holcomb and his crew of Justin Olsen, Steve Langton and Curtis Tomasevicz head up the finish ramp during their victorious performance in World Cup action in Lake Placid on Dec. 19, 2010, the last time the world’s top bobsledders gathered to compete in the Olympic Village.
Competition begins with the first two heats of women's bobsled at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17. Men's two-man begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, followed by the medal-deciding heats of women's bobsled at 5 p.m. Men's two-man finals will be held at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19, and a team competition will also take place at 1:30 p.m.
Racing will continue Thursday, Feb. 23 with the first two heats of women's skeleton at 9:30 a.m The final heats will take place the following morning at 9:45 a.m. Men's skeleton athletes take to the ice at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 and wrap up at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. Men's four-man bobsled competition will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, and will conclude the event with the final two heats at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26.
Tickets for the World Championships can purchased by visiting www.Whiteface.com, calling 523-3330, or at the gate day of the event.
The selection committee met Sunday, Feb. 12 to decide teams competing in World Championships. Holcomb will team with Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) in the USA-1 BMW Night Train sled. Langton was selected to compete with Holcomb in the Under Armour two-man sled.
John Napier of Lake Placid will compete with Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.), Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) and either Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill.) or Chuck Berkeley (Walnut Creek, Calif.) in his National Guard four-man sled, and Fogt will be Napier's brakeman in the Alamo two-man sled.
Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) earned his spot as pilot of USA-3. The rookie driver will race with Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) in two-man, and Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas), Robinson and either Beckom or Berkeley in four-man. Beckom and Berkeley will race off on Wednesday, Feb. 15 to determine if they will compete with USA-2 or USA-3.
The U.S. will field three sleds in the women's bobsled competition. Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) will team with Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) in the KOA sled as USA-1, while Bree Schaaf (Bremerton, Wash.) and Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) will partner in the Sliding for Hope sled as USA-2.
Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) will compete with Ingrid Marcum (Elmhurst, Ill.) in the USA-3 FDNY sled to complete the roster.
Women's skeleton athletes Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) and Annie O'Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) both hold records on the Lake Placid track and will be threats for the podium.
Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.) and John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) are expected to set the pace in the men's skeleton event.
Watch live streaming of all events on www.FIBT.com. NBC Universal Sports will also broadcast events on the following dates: Women's bobsled at 10 p.m. on Feb. 18, men's two-man bobsled at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19, team competition at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 23, women's skeleton at 6 p.m. on Feb. 24, men's skeleton at 10 p.m. on Feb. 25 and men's four-man bobsled at 6 p.m. on Feb. 25.