At least four US military service members will join Team USA as it seeks to win gold medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing next month.
The crew includes:
Army Sergeant. Emily Sweeney (luge) of Suffield, Connecticut;
Air Force Airman 1st Class Kelly Curtis (skeleton) from Princeton, New Jersey;
Army Spc. Frank Del Duca (bobsled) of Bethel, Maine; and
Army Spc. Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (bobsleigh), of Powhatan, Virginia, reported TBEN 13 from Seattle.
“The challenges came from all angles, really. It’s amazing the number of different challenges we’ve faced as a team this year,” Sweeney told the World Class Athlete Program.
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The second time
This will be the second time Sweeney, 25, has competed in the Winter Olympics, having competed at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. She has also won seven World Cup medals and is the 2013 Junior World Cup champion.
Curtis, who turns 33 next Tuesday, will compete in the skeleton event, where a rider in a small sled runs headfirst down a frozen track.
“My background in athletics eventually led me to the skeleton,” Curtis told the Air Force Recruiting Service, according to the report. “I competed for Tulane University and Springfield College in the heptathlon. One of Springfield College’s strength and conditioning coaches, Dr. Daniel Jaffe, suggested I try bobsledding or skeleton after graduating.
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Curtis, who completed basic training in the summer of 2020, has ambitions to become an officer in the military and compete in the 2026 Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Olympics in Italy.
“My goal right now is to earn the honor of representing the Air Force at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022,” Curtis said, according to TBEN 13. I look forward to working in my field. career path and gain operational Air Force experience. I hope to earn the right to become an officer when the time comes,”
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Pilot and pusher
Del Duca, 30, an infantryman, and Abdul-Saboor, 34, a biomedical equipment specialist, will join the US men’s bobsled team as the team’s driver and pusher, respectively, according to the report.
“I just want to express my gratitude to the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program for giving me and my teammates the support we need to compete at the highest level,” Del said. Duca. “We are growing as individuals. We grow as a team.
The rest of the USA bobsled team includes Carlo Valdes, Josh Williamson, Charlie Volker, Jimmy Reed, Kris Horn and Hunter Church, Team USA announcement.