Kyle Brown: Professional Skeleton Slider

Kyle Brown was born and raised in Concord, NH (my hometown) was where he played football, ice hockey and track and field in high school. In college, he continued his athletic career, playing all three sports at Springfield College in Springfield, Ma. He then graduated with a degree in exercise science, with a concentration in sport performance. During the off-season, Kyle was a strength coach and personal trainer in Woburn, Mass. at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. He was first introduced to the sport of skeleton in 2012 after looking into a strength and conditioning internship with the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY. That is where he met Don Hass, who invited him to participate in a USABS combine. Since then Kyle has done extremely well in this sport, a few of his career highlights include:

 

  • 2016 World Championships in men’s skeleton– 13th in Igls (2/16)
  • 2016 World Championshipsin team event – 6th in Igls (2/16)
  • 2015-2016 World Cup– 6th in Lake Placid (1/16); 9th in St. Moritz (2/16)
  • 2015-2016 Intercontinental Cup– BRONZE in Lake Placid #1 (11/15); BRONZE in Lake Placid #2 (11/15); 10th in Whistler #1 (12/15); 11th in Whistler #2 (12/15)
  • 2014-2015 World Cup– 28th in Altenberg (1/15); 23rd in Koenigssee (1/15); 16th in St. Moritz (1/15); 23rd in Sochi (2/15)
  • 2014-2015 European Cup– 7th in Winterberg (12/14); 18th in Koenigssee #2 (11/14); 16th in Koenigssee #1 (11/14)

 

Skelton originated in Switzerland in the late 1800s, and appeared as an Olympic sport only in that country at the Games of St. Moritz in 1928 and 1948. It returned to the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002, when American Jim Shea won gold, and has been in the Games ever since. The sport is similar to luge or bobsledding, with the athlete riding atop a small sled as it careens down a frozen track, but differs in that skeleton athletes lie face down and slide head-first. The video below explains the sport in 90 seconds:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aSpFCjJvZg

Skeleton is a sport that largely flies under the radar in the US, except for a few days every four years when the Olympics roll around. With only two tracks in the States, one at Lake Placid and one in Park City, Utah, there’s simply not much exposure, unlike in Europe, where Germany boasts three tracks in an area roughly the size of New England and New York. With the lack of exposure comes a lack of funding. Until athletes reach the World Cup team, when USA Bobsled and Skeleton kicks in most of the funding, most all expenses are out of pocket, from room and board to equipment to travel and insurance. Brown rides a $4,000 sled, one of the least expensive in the world, he said. Typical World Cup sleds cost around $9,000 to $12,000, but with the technology, research and development, materials and machining that go into the highest-end custom sleds, the cost can approach $100,000. He continues to rely on donates to keep training for the sport he truly loves. Below is a documentary that was made about Brown.

 

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