Winter Olympian from Central Texas ready to cheer on teammates during ‘historic’ Games

Japan 2020


AUSTIN (KXAN) — While Olympians prepare to compete in Tokyo, their winter teammates are back home cheering them on.

Among them is Katie Uhlaender, who grew up in Central Texas and competes in Skeleton. Uhlaender is a four-time Olympian with plans to reach her fifth Olympic Games in 2022. She says the feeling of representing your country on the world stage is unforgettable and humbling.

“The Olympic flame being lit lights a passion in your heart. You realize that you’re something small and important and part of something much bigger than yourself,” Uhlaender said. “It was and is invigorating every time when the crowd starts chanting USA and clapping and it’s part of the vibe. It’s part of the Olympic spirit.”

Summer Olympians are battling the threat of COVID-19 in Tokyo. As Uhlaender trains for the upcoming Beijing Games, that threat will likely still be prevalent. She says it’s important athletes are “safe and responsible” to those risks.

Uhlaender also says Olympians at the Tokyo Games are taking part in a historic moment in sport.

“For those that haven’t been to the Olympics before, they’re going to be part of something historical. An Olympics put on during a pandemic…and it will probably be a great representation of what we’ve all been through,” Uhlaender said.

Get the latest on how our Texans are doing in the Olympics by signing up for push alerts on the KXAN News App and our More Than The Score newsletter. Join us at noon every weekday for our Japan 2020 stream highlighting memorable moments and KXAN’s team in Tokyo.

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