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Extreme Sledding at Over 81 mph

Meridian's Andrew Blaser, the only man representing the USA in the sport of skeleton at the Beijing Winter Olympics

Article by Kendall Houlton

Photography by IBSFsliding + Provided

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

Meridian Lifestyle caught up with Olympian and Meridian native Andrew Blaser as he was heading to the closing ceremonies of the Beijing 2022 Olympics on February 20th. “The Olympics have been a really awesome experience as a whole,” Blaser said. “For most athletes just being here is an honor. We have all worked for four years to have the opportunity to put on a Team USA uniform.”

The village for Skeleton athletes in Yanqing districts is about 58 miles northwest of the Chinese capital. ”Our village was just sliding sports and alpine skiing so we were a little secluded and had some major travel time to get to other events if we chose to do so,” Blaser explained, “Altogether the support I felt and the feeling of peace watching the world come together through sports is incredible.”

Skeleton is a winter sliding sport in which the athlete rides a small sled, known as a skeleton bobsled (or sleigh), down a frozen track while lying face down and head-first, reaching speeds over 81 mph and 5 g in gravity forces. Blaser was a standout track and field athlete at the University of Idaho before he transitioned to skeleton, winning his first-ever international medal in his first season competing on the North American Cup (NAC) tour in 2015-2016. Congratulations to Andrew and the other USA Olympians who brought home 8 Gold, 10 Silver and 7 Bronze medals at the Beijing Olympics.

  • American skeleton racers Andrew Blaser and Katie uhleander