Idyllwlld’s Lauren Salter didn’t earn a spot on the 2013-14 National Women’s Skeleton team, but she has only been a skeleton racer for three seasons and still has her sights on the 2018 Olympics to be held in Korea.
“We just concluded our team selections, so it was an extremely busy couple of weeks,” Salter wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, I didn’t perform well enough to be named to a tour, but I’ve been in this situation before so it’s not as devastating.”
This is just one interruption in her quest to become an Olympian. In the spring of 2010, Salter graduated from Northern Arizona University and by fall she began her journey to go to the Olympics, representing her country in the skeleton.
While many people recognize the luge or bobsled, the skeleton team is less well-known. Although similarities exist among the three downhill ice races, such as speeds exceeding 70 to 80 mph, the luge is feet first. Skeleton sliders lead with their heads and faces. Salter has actually felt the ice shavings coming off the sled’s runners. Another difference is the skeleton is an individual sport, while the bobsled is either a two-or four-person team race.
Four of the five women who made the national team have all been competing since 2004. Experience is an important attribute and Salter intends to gain more.
“My plan is to spend this season sliding mainly in Park City and Lake Placid, with a week in Calgary and possibly some time in Whistler,” she stated. “I’ll be purchasing a new sled within the year, so much of this time is going to be spent testing different sleds and talking to those few folk who build them.
“I’m excited to gain more experience on these tracks here in North America, and I am excited to make changes to my equipment and training,” she said proudly.
J.P. Crumrine can be reached at [email protected]