Idyllwild’s Lauren Salter is pursuing her dream to make the U.S. Olympic Skeleton team. This year, just her third year in the sport, she earned a spot on the North American Cup team.
Skeleton is a downhill sliding sport, where racers are face down and guide and turn with torque generated from twisting and tilting their head and shoulders.
Her first scheduled race is the America’s Cup, Nov. 15, in Calgary, Canada. Then she will be in several races scheduled at Whistler, British Columbia.
The U.S. team trials took place during the past several weeks in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Park City, Utah — two races in each location. Salter did better at Lake Placid, but she still finished 8th overall.
“I’m feeling good with my future. I’m still a new slider, and I have a lot of time and a lot of things to learn,” Salter wrote in an email. “I feel like over the last two years, I’ve only scratched the surface of this sport.”
After the trials, she was awarded the 2012 Randy Price Memorial Award, It is an annual sportsmanship award to aspiring Olympic athletes in the sport of skeleton in memory of Randy Price. The Randy Price Memorial Fund was established in 2004 as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization by the Price family to recognize Randy’s involvement with the skeleton community and to provide a means of helping other aspiring skeleton athletes achieve their dreams.
“I am so pleased and humbled to be recognized for this award! It is hard to explain how wonderful it feels to be recognized for my hard work and my love for skeleton!” she wrote on her blog.
“Lauren has been emerging quickly in the program and we’re so excited to see what she does this season!” wrote Amanda Bird, marketing and communications director for the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.
The women’s 2008 winner, Annie O’Shea, and the 2009 winner, Kimber Gabryszak, went on to earn places on the 2012-13 National team. Salter is younger than any of the National team members, two of whom are Olympians and all have seven or more years experience, she noted.
“My push is [to be] competitive with the top women in the world, but a push will only get me so far,” she said. “My lack of experience on tracks shows. It’s so exciting this year to get to compete at two new tracks (Calgary and Whistler).”
Training nearly year-round to gain the experience that the top racers have leaves little time for Salter to earn a living to support her Olympic aspirations. So she needs financial assistance. Those willing and able to help this prospective Olympic athlete can send assistance to Utah Bobsled and Skeleton Association, P.O. Box 581131, Salt Lake City, UT 84158.
Salter asks that you write “Lauren Salter sponsorship” on the memo line of the check and please include your name and address in a note.