Katie Uhlaender is the only athlete to have competed in the skeleton in four Olympic Games – and she might become the first to compete in five.
After finishing 13th in PyeongChang in what many thought would be her last Olympic run, Uhlaender wasn’t so quick to announce her retirement. “I don’t know,” she told NBC’s Lewis Johnson when he asked if this was her last slide at the Games. “It’s too overwhelming to think about.”
Uhlaender explained the “rollercoaster” Olympic experience PyeongChang has been for her.
“In the last year I almost died in November,” she said. “I came back two weeks out of the hospital; and then finished the season to find my best friend passed away. Then I pulled my hamstring. I had a surprise on the line yesterday: I hadn’t seen my mom in four years, and she somehow snuck in and was standing on the line. So I had an emotional moment.”
Uhlaender wavered on whether she would attempt to make a fifth Olympic team, saying that she’s getting old, and that she isn’t sure if she can afford it. “I feel like I’m not done, but I’m getting old and broke,” she said. “I’ve invested everything I had – every dime I had – into my sled, into training. I’m coming out of this in debt.”
It may change as time moves on, but Uhlaender’s performance in PyeongChang left her wanting more.
“It’s been a rollercoaster,” she said, “and that’s why I’m left feeling as though I’m not done. I wanted to walk away saying I’d done everything, maximized my potential. I think I have as far as facing adversity — I’m doing that like a champ. But I want there to be no more circumstances to overcome. I just want to come here and be an athlete. I did that the best I could. I’m smiling. So we’ll see.”