Andrew Blaser will be the only man representing the United States in the sport of skeleton at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the first publicly out gay man to earn an Olympic spot in the sport.
“Making this team is honestly just crazy,” Blaser told Outsports after the announcement.
Blaser joins Kelly Curtis and Katie Uhlaender representing Team USA in skeleton.
“USA Bobsled and Skeleton is incredibly proud of the three athletes nominated to represent Team USA in skeleton at the 2022 Olympics,” USABS CEO Aron McGuire said. “It was a battle to make the team and it came down to the very last race.”
In competition, skeleton sledders go head-first down a sheet of ice really fast.
Blaser talked at length with Outsports for the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast last year. You can find that interview here.
It has been a long road to the Olympics for Blaser. He only started competing on this season’s US World Cup team last month. Going into the season he was in the running for the American Olympic spot in skeleton, but he was not the frontrunner.
A fantastic season on the sled has now put him in Beijing representing his country.
“I have had so many moments where I have ‘quit’ mentally and thought I was done and walking away,” Blaser said. “Looking back at every conversation with every coach where I was defeated or thought it couldn’t be done, now I KNOW that it can be done.”
Blaser said he’s kept a quote from author and podcaster Glennon Doyle — “I can do hard things” — close to his heart throughout the process. Doyle is also the wife of Olympian Abby Wambach.
“Frankly Glennon, you are so right,” Blaser said. “I can, and We can do hard things!”
Blaser grew up in Idaho and competed in the decathlon for the University of Idaho.
Blaser will be one of a record number of publicly out athletes across sports at these Winter Olympics. Belgium’s Kim Meylemans previously competed on the women’s side in skeleton at the 2018 Olympics.
Blaser previously talked with Outsports about painting his finger nails for the last year. Now he’ll have to figure out what to paint them for the Olympics. In St. Moritz, Switzerland, for the latest World Cup race, he’s kept them all-American: red, white and blue.
You can follow Andrew Blaser on Instagram.