USA Skeleton Announces IBSF WC & EC Teams For 2023/2024 Sliding Season
BY ABBY SLENKER | CLICK HERE TO VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Nov 7, 2023) - The USA IBSF World Cup Skeleton Team and Europe Cup (EC) Skeleton Team were announced today for the first half of the 2023/2024 sliding season. The athletes named to the World Cup Skeleton Team are as follows: Mystique Ro, Sara Roderick, Michelle Toukan and Katie Uhlaender in the women’s division and Dan Barefoot, Austin Florian and Hunter Williams for the men’s division. The sliders named to the EC team are Bradley Nicol, Darryl Payne Jr. and Nick Tucker.
“I am excited for the season to get underway with the new team we have this year. From athletes to coaches, there are a lot of new elements to our program this season. We are all eager to get out there and start competing!” shared Matt Antoine, USA Skeleton Head Coach.
Mystique Ro is the reigning push champion following the 2023 National Skeleton Push Championships in October and the most recent World Push Championships, which occurred in the fall of 2022. Last season, she also had success while competing in the NAC (North American Cup), ICC (Intercontinental Cup) and EC circuits and made an appearance on the World Cup circuit.
Sara Roderick is entering into her seventh year in the sport. She is the 2023 National Champion for Women’s Skeleton and is excited to return to the world stage after taking a break from international competitions last season to rehab. Like Ro, she has slid in a World Cup competition as well.
Michelle Toukan began sliding in 2017. While she has had many medals and podium finishes on the NAC circuit over the years, she describes successfully coming back from a 2021 crash as one of her biggest accomplishments. This will be her first season competing in World Cup competitions.
Katie Uhlaender is a five-time Olympian. She is also a two-time World Cup champion, an 11-time World Cup Gold Medalist and six-time National Champion. Uhlaender had the highest result in Women's Skeleton at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games for the USA, finishing sixth.
On the men’s side, Dan Barefoot will be making his World Cup debut this year, which will be his seventh season in the sport. One of Barefoot’s greatest accomplishments in the sport thus far has been competing in World Championships during the 2022/2023 sliding season.
Austin Florian continues on the World Cup stage after five seasons on the World Cup circuit. Last year, he competed in the World Cup Championships as well in St. Moritz, Switzerland. At World Cup Races, Florian finished in the top six numerous times on the international stage.
Hunter Williams is entering his sixth year sliding. This will be his first year on the World Cup tour. He names his top-six finish in Sigulda, Latvia on the EC circuit as one of his greatest accomplishments in the sport thus far.
On the EC circuit, there will be no shortage of talent as well.
Bradley Nicol has been involved in the sport of skeleton since 2021. Bradley has extensive experience on the NAC circuit. During the 2022/2023 season, he placed in the top six three separate times, including a second-place finish in the Lake Placid NAC race.
Darryl Payne Jr. is entering his fifth season in the sport. Over this time, he has become one of the fastest pushers in Men’s Skeleton in the sport. Last season was his first season sliding in Europe.
Nick Tucker is entering his second year in the sport. Last year at the World Push Championships, he finished in the top eight during his rookie season.
The first World Cup race of the 2023/2024 sliding season will be on November 17 in Yanqing, China. However, the first World Cup race the United States will compete at will be on December 8th in La Plagne, France. The first EC race will take place in Lillehammer, Norway on November 30th.
About USA Bobsled/Skeleton
USA Bobsled/Skeleton is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton racing in the United States. Based in Lake Placid, NY, USA Bobsled/Skeleton oversees the development and training of American athletes at all levels of competition.
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