U.S. skeleton at the 2022 Winter Olympics: Five-timer Katie Uhlaender leads smallest team since 2002

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jan 17, 2022

Team USA unveiled its Olympic skeleton team this weekend, the smallest delegation since the sport's re-introduction in 2002. The following sliders will appear at the 2022 Winter Olympics:

Katie Uhlaendar
Kelly Curtis

Andrew Blaser

The are only two events: men's or women's races. Quotas were distributed as a reflection of the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation world rankings as of January 16th. 

SEE MORE: Who's qualified for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Katie Uhlaendar” may not be a household name. But the 37-year-old skeleton veteran has been given the green light to slide through her fifth Games at the 2022 Winter Olympics -- joining a very exclusive club of Winter Olympians. 

By competing, Uhlaendar earns a number of superlatives. For one, she ties the record for the U.S. woman with most Olympic appearances. She's also the only U.S. woman in any sliding sport to appear at five Games. 

SEE MORE: Katie Uhlaender's love of nature, flow fuels skeleton fire

As of the January 16th cutoff, Uhlaender ranked world No. 13 in her chosen sport -- closely followed by two other Americans, world No. 14 Kelly Curtis and world No. 15 Henry Megan

Uhlaender placed sixth at Torino 2006 and fourth at Sochi 2014. Whatever happens this time around, Uhlaender has made it clear a sixth Games -- which would mark an Olympic return to Italy -- is not in the cards. She plans to retire from skeleton and pursue a college degree. 

SEE MORE: Skeleton 101: Since PyeongChang

In addition to Uhlaender, Olympic newcomers Curtis and Andrew Blaser will each have an opportunity to slide for a medal. 

Curtis, 32, scraped into the second women's quota spot with a sixth-place finish at Friday's race in St. Mortiz. Just 24 points on the IBSF rankings earned her a ticket to the world's biggest sporting competition. Curtis is a member of the U.S. Air Force who specializes in cybersecurity, and comes from a military family. 

The sole U.S. men's skeleton slider headed into the Games, 32-year-old Blaser began as a pole vaulter at the University of Idaho. He later found skeleton through an interest in bobsled.

Blaser ranked world No. 28 at the time of selection, ahead of three-time Olympian John Daly. He is one of the record number of openly gay athletes competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

SEE MORE: Skeleton at the 2022 Winter Olympics