Hey Reddit! For the past 12 years I've been an athlete on the United States National Skeleton team. That means I spend 6 months per year racing headfirst down a mile of ice at 90 miles per hour. In January I was named to the U.S. Olympic Team and I just finished racing here in Sochi a few days ago. Now I'm watching other events, getting a tan, and hosting an AMA! Feel free to ask me about skeleton, our training regimen, and the Olympic Games.

PROOF: Twitter

My website: www.kyletress.com

Edit: It's been fun. Thanks for your great questions. See you in 2018!

Edit: Answering a few more. Keep them coming!

Comments: 314 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

str8ballin8156 karma

Are the conditions in Sochi as bad as social media has made it out to be? Can you really not wash your face with the water?

EDIT: Also I feel I owe you a thank you for competing on behalf of USA, Go Team USA!!

kyletress81 karma

Thank you!

No the conditions are not bad at all, at least in the Village. I wash my face and brush my teeth with the water, and so do my teammates. We've all been fine. We agree that it's mostly been blown out of proportion.

probablyhappened54 karma

I host an NJ centric sports radio show and sometimes we're on tv. How do we get you on?

kyletress71 karma

Once I return to the U.S. (25th), we can set up a date and time! I'd love to be on the show.

inconsequent1al49 karma

Since the very first time I saw a skeleton event on TV, the question I've always wanted to ask a skeleton athlete is: Are you insane?

And how did it start? Did you see it on TV and go: Woo, this looks fun! I simply must try it!

kyletress58 karma

Definitely not insane. I like to think of skeleton athletes as being just a little eccentric. You sort of have to be to enjoy the sport and to be competitive, because there are certainly scary moments.

I found skeleton by accident, really. In 2002 during the Salt Lake City Olympics, I clicked a link on the Yahoo! homepage that said 'Third Generation Olympian Wins Gold in Skeleton'. I had no idea what skeleton was, but something about that headline caught my interest. As soon as I saw it, I knew immediately it was for me. I registered for a training camp in the summer, a skeleton school in the winter (in Lake Placid), and after my very first trip down the track I decided to commit to making the Olympic Team.

stasinop18 karma

Hi, thanks for doing the AMA.

Were you involved in athletics before taking up skeleton? Obviously you have to be athletic, but what kind of build (light/heavy) would you say you need for the sport? Thanks!

kyletress23 karma

There are many different body types in skeleton, from tall and lean to short and stockier. The most important traits are speed and power. If you can carry some additional body weight without giving up speed, then you might have an advantage over a lighter athlete. However most of the top racers seem to be erring on the side of being lighter these days.

I dabbled in lots of sports growing up, but never really stuck to anything. It wasn't until i was 21 and read about skeleton for the first time that I found what i was looking for.

carlos_the_dwarf_27 karma

  • Do you make a living at this, or do you do something else for money while training?

  • How does one steer while skeleton-ing?

  • How did you get into skeleton as opposed to, say, the luge?

  • How bad can you get hurt in skeleton? Seems like a crash could really eff somebody up.

kyletress33 karma

I cofounded an app development company that pays for my skeleton habit. The reason I got started in skeleton is because I came to the sliding sports at a relatively late age (21). Luge was out of the question at that point, as they start much younger. I was too small for bobsled, and frankly, didn't want to spend the next 12 years lifting heavy things and drinking protein shakes. Skeleton also really appealed to me; the individual nature of it, the speed, the technical aspect, the racing. It hit all the right notes for me.

You can definitely get hurt in skeleton, but our injuries tend to be less gruesome than people think. We get a lot of cuts and bruises, some lower leg injuries from sprinting, but probably the most dangerous thing would result from hitting something in the track. That's my biggest fear in the sport. If a skeleton athlete hit something head on at full speed, the likelihood of surviving seems low.

Synergine18 karma

What's it feel like going that fast down ice?

kyletress40 karma

It's probably different for everyone, but for me it's very peaceful. I know for the brief time I'm on the sled, I have nothing else in the world to think of or worry about. It's a moment of pure focus for my otherwise scattered and ADD brain.

Then there's the speed and acceleration. It's addicting.

willbill18218 karma

Was the Olympics everything you hoped they would be?

kyletress20 karma

Yes.

mrshatnertoyou17 karma

What are the differences in technique between luge and skeleton? Is there any crossover in the athletes who participate in these sports?

kyletress24 karma

Luge and skeleton are very different. The sleds are different, we drive differently. Really the only thing we have in common is the track. Luge sleds have much finer control. They respond to input from the athlete almost immediately. A skeleton sled takes longer to respond. If you are thinking about a steer while sliding skeleton, you've probably missed it (as well as the next one). It's more intuitive.

There has been a little crossover from luge to skeleton, but without much success. Luge athletes train upper body for their starts, whereas skeleton athletes train like track and field sprinters. It's hard to go from one type of training to the other that late in life.

brohatmas_ghandi15 karma

How does one get involved with sliding sports in America? It seems like a very niche sport. How old were you when you started?

kyletress19 karma

You're right, it's a very niche sport. There are only two tracks in the United States; Park City, Utah and Lake Placid, NY. I got started when I was 21 by taking a combine test in Maryland. The combine measures speed, power, and explosiveness through a series of sprints, jumps, and weight lifting exercises. From there you go on to a development camp at one of the tracks and decide if skeleton is for you. I've seen more than a few talented athletes quietly skulk away in the middle of the night after the first day. If you enjoy the sport, you can progress through the ranks from development on to traveling teams and eventually to the World Cup and Olympic level.

catmoon13 karma

What do people on the skeleton team think of the luge team? Is there any rivalry between the sports?

kyletress38 karma

We love the luge team. We live and train together in Lake Placid and we are all good friends. That being said, I wouldn't want to ride down the track with one of them laying on top of me.

iwalkalot13 karma

Did you get to smoke a blunt with the Jamaican Bobsled team?

kyletress30 karma

nah, mon.

what_did_you_eat12 karma

What did you eat today? Favorite food you've had in Sochi?

kyletress58 karma

I haven't had much of an appetite since arriving, maybe due to nerves. The cafeteria has a pretty good selection though, with chicken, veggies, and potatoes being among my favorite. (and pizza!)

There's also free McDonald's at the Coastal Village. I want to break Usain Bolt's chicken McNugget record. He claims he ate 1000 in London. I'm at 18.

Sehs9 karma

I'm so jealous. On a related note, I had a McNugget challenge once to see how many I could eat in a single sitting. Let me tell you, it's harder than you think, I only made it up to 50.

kyletress20 karma

I think I found my task for tomorrow. McNugget challenge accepted!

theguywhopickedkirby12 karma

Is there an "order of respect" amongst athletes? Are some sports more looked up to than others?

kyletress22 karma

There is a lot of respect among the athletes here for one another, because regardless of sport, we all recognize how hard it is to make the Olympic Team. One of the things I love about the Winter Olympics is how most sports here involve some element of danger. I look up to the downhill skiers, the aerialists, and I appreciate just how dangerous their sports can be. I also have a ton of respect for the snowboarders, just because they're awesome.

ReadDog27 karma

Is it really that hard? If I were to be a citizen from a country that historically was underrepresented at the Olympics, wouldn't my chances be pretty good of making it?

Edit: Don't know why you all are downvoting...I was asking a serious question, not being condescending.

kyletress29 karma

It's very hard. If you were a citizen from a small nation, you'd face a lot of additional challenges on top of the challenge of qualifying. For instance, your nation might not have a National Governing Body, so you'd have to set that up and get it recognized by the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. Then you'd have to buy equipment, pay for training and travel, and of course coaching. Finally you'd have to be top 60 in the World, in addition to meeting your nation's qualification criteria. I know a lot of athletes from small nations, and their road is equally challenging.

hi-wow-bye12 karma

What are your plans for after your athletic career is over? What is it like in the Olympic Village? Are you mostly surrounded by fellow Americans or are people from other countries right next door?

Congrats on making it to the Olympics! Go USA!!

kyletress17 karma

I've been involved in the skeleton community for 12 years now. It's such an important part of my life I couldn't imagine walking away from it when my competitive career ends. I'd like to coach, build equipment, and perhaps work for the USOC or IOC.

The Olympic Village is amazing. Our building is mostly American sliders, skiers, and snowboarders, with some international athletes as well. We spent a few days training in the Coastal Village before our competition. The rooms were a bit nicer, but overall it's pretty similar. 24/hour cafeteria, rec center, and of course training facilities...oh, and laundry. Can't stress how hard it is to find good laundry facilities on the road.

[deleted]8 karma

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kyletress7 karma

Sliding is exactly the word. Nailed it! We have a lot of control. Many times we are actually trying to reduce the amount of control we have, because that equals more speed. It's a fine line and each athlete has to find a balance between control and speed. I'm heavier and so I can get away with a looser setup than a lighter athlete. But other factors come into play, like the type of track, temperature of the ice, and many more variables.

Ross333 karma

But does turning consist of a leaning based system or more of using momentum around turns?

kyletress6 karma

Using the momentum, and manipulating the forces that we experience when we slide through them. You will see athletes lean into corners, but the actual steering comes from applying pressure to the sled with our knees and shoulders.

Keswik12 karma

Hey! Thanks for doing this. How does competing in the Olympics, knowing the whole world is watching, make you feel as opposed to say competing back home in front of a much smaller audience?

kyletress15 karma

I tried so hard to envision what that might feel like in the days and weeks leading up to the race. I thought I had a decent idea, but I didn't.

There's always pressure on us to perform during the World Cup, because our results matter for our nation's quota (how many athletes we can send to World Cup and the Olympic Games). But it was a different kind of pressure knowing that so many people were watching. Humbling, but also nerve wracking. I like to think i'll be better prepared to handle that next time.

DETRITUS_TROLL10 karma

What do you do for the other six months?

lost_my_pw_again14 karma

Recovering from injuries.

kyletress25 karma

Not far from the truth.

Packman1010 karma

Do you really see stray dogs everywhere?

kyletress17 karma

I've been to Sochi three times now, and each trip I've seen fewer stray dogs. It's heartbreaking to think what might be happening to them. I read that the Russians were trying to bring them all to shelters. I hope that's true.

Packman109 karma

Also have you ever crashed going really fast and if so did you have any serious injuries?

kyletress18 karma

Yes, unfortunately. Crashing is a part of the sport but I'm happy to say I've never lost my sled on the track. The worst crash I ever had was in Konigssee, Germany. There is a 360 degree curve there called the Kriesel. You loop through it three times, and if you mis-time the steering you are very high on the exit where the curve ends. That moment of silence, flying through the air with a 70 pound sled underneath you, is terrifying. When you hit, you typically get something we call ice burn, which is essentially road rash. It's not fun.

[deleted]9 karma

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kyletress30 karma

Dive into everything headfirst. Except shallow swimming pools.

Skruffenuss9 karma

There are many strange combinations of sports that have been seen in the Olympics over the years. Let me mention ski and ballet, shooting and cross country, ski jumping and cross country and finally dancing and ice skating. However, I wonder when we will see skeleton bowling in the Olympics. Do you know anything about that?

Edit:

Link to ski ballet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvk4PpFORD4

kyletress25 karma

I'd personally love to combine skeleton and biathlon. I'm not sure what would be better, shooting targets on the way down the track, or trying to avoid being shot as we race by.

mjh848 karma

Some of the other skeleton athletes had some cool helmet designs, why did you elect to go generic?

kyletress18 karma

I forgot to have it painted in October and just didn't have the time to get it done before the Games. But I thought it looked good with the white shoes! I'll have a better design next time. I'm thinking Jolly Roger.

mjh847 karma

Jolly Roger would be sweet! What about an 8 ball.

mjh847 karma

magic 8 ball.

kyletress34 karma

The future is uncertain.

kjoro8 karma

I hope you have a nice warm vacation after Sochi

kyletress14 karma

Thank you! Sochi is plenty warm as it is.

Cthulhu_Approval8 karma

What's your favorite sandwich?

kyletress29 karma

Pork roll and cheese. It's a Jersey thing.

saucedog8 karma

Awesome! I have a couple questions!

  1. Can you please illustrate just how exactly anyone actually gets into the sport from the beginning? It seems like the courses are not particularly accessible to most for either recreation or training...?

  2. How are those tracks created? Is there a mold they fill with water which freezes?

  3. Is it as awesome as it looks?? Have any other real-world activities compared to, you know, being a goddamned ice-bullet???

Keep it up, man! Thanks!

kyletress10 karma

Sure! It starts by contacting the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (assuming you are American. If not, contact your national federation). You can sign up for a combine test at one of several locations throughout the summer. From there you will end up at a week long development camp in the spring or fall, where you'll take your first trips down the track. You start from about halfway and slowly work your way to the top. You'll know pretty quickly if you want to continue pursuing the sport. At the end of the week, you could be invited back to spend the winter living and training in Lake Placid. You will work your way through the development ranks and into Team Selections, where you can vie for a spot on a racing circuit in North America or Europe.

The track is essentially concrete shaped around rebar. There is also an ammonia refrigeration system that runs through the entire thing to lower the surface temp of the concrete so ice will stick to it.

Ice bullet. I like that. Yes, it's as awesome as it looks, except when you're first learning. You hit a lot of walls, and that sucks.

JtheUnicorn8 karma

How long can you stay competitive in this sport?

Are you hopeful at this point to be in the next Olympics?

kyletress15 karma

Skeleton is definitely an experience sport. As long as you have a good push time, you can stay competitive into your 40's. I'm already thinking about Korea 2018.

GorillaShagMaster8 karma

Hi has out going? I'm in class so I have a short one. How does it feel after an event? Is it similar to a test, like being relieved even if you do well or not?

Thanks!

kyletress10 karma

The adrenaline, caffeine, and stimulation from the event wear off pretty quickly, so it's this crazy combination of exhaustion and relief, plus whatever emotions I'm feeling from the actual result. If it's bad, I give myself 24 hours to dwell on it. That can be pretty miserable, but I know once that period is over I'll forget about it and move on.

The success (or disappointment) of my teammates also plays a role. If they are upset about their results, it's hard to feel good about my own. We all want to do well and we push each other constantly.

will3117 karma

How did you get into the sport?

kyletress7 karma

By accident, really. I clicked a link on the Yahoo! homepage to an article about Jim Shea Jr, a third generation Olympian who won gold in skeleton in the 2002 Olympics. That simple action changed my life and led me here.

Ben_Stark7 karma

Okay, so I am 29, and probably too old to make the Olympic team, but I want to try skeleton as sort of a bucket list thing. Could you point me in a direction where I could try it without you know... rigging something up in my back yard?

Edit: Watching you in the Olympics was awesome!

kyletress8 karma

Definitely! If you can make the trip to Lake Placid, you can take a passenger ride in a bobsled or try skeleton from the halfway point on the track. Even from halfway you'll still reach 30-40 miles per hour on the skeleton. If you wanted to pursue it a little more in depth, you can contact the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and they will give you details about fantasy camps and development schools. I highly recommend you give it a try!

bleezynheem7 karma

Have any nicknames?

kyletress10 karma

Tresstosterone. You can thank my teammate John Daly for that gem. Ridiculous.

There-is_No-spoon6 karma

Whom does one look upto in the sport of skeleton?

kyletress10 karma

Skeleton attracts some very talented athletes. Here are a few current athletes I admire: Martins Dukurs of Latvia is the best skeleton athlete ever. Even if you knew nothing about the sport, by watching Martins on the track you would know he's the best. Alexander Tretiakov can run faster bent over with a sled than most people can upright. The guy is an impressive sprinter. My teammate Matt Antoine was cut from our first skeleton camp in 2002, and he just won a bronze medal. Matt works harder than anyone I know, and he never gives up.

Wurmspiralmaschine6 karma

do you'll go back to the closing ceremony?

Edit: Grammar

kyletress11 karma

I'm definitely going to the Closing Ceremony. I don't want to miss a second of this experience.

ilovechairs6 karma

Do you have any pre-race routines or superstitions?

kyletress10 karma

I'm not a superstitious guy, but I've caught myself doing this weird arm extension stretch recently when I'm standing out on the start line. I've done it before every race this season and I've had the best results of my career. Maybe I'm on to something...

lmi66 karma

Do you have to pay to stay in the Olympic Village, or does the United States Olympic Committee pay for it?

kyletress10 karma

Athletes don't pay, no, but I'm not sure if national olympic committees pay either.

justalittlewave5 karma

What kinds of workouts do you do in a gym or weightroom to make you excel at skeleton? Seeing as push times are vital to performance, how do you train for that?

kyletress11 karma

We train primarily as track and field athletes in the summer. We sprint and lift 3-4 days per week, and we have lower intensity tempo sessions the other days. In the weight room we focus on Olympic lifts, power cleans, snatches, and back squats. We supplement this with plyometrics, mobility drills, and core work as well. We also have a fun time pushing the Prowler, which is a torture device in disguise. Check out some videos on YouTube. It's pure pain.

As for push training, we have a 75 meter push track in Lake Placid where we can just focus on the start without having to worry about the remaining mile of ice. The sled is connected to rails, and there's a wire catch that shoots us back up to the start.

gogophergo5 karma

Hey Kyle, congrats on sliding for the USA. Looks like you're enjoying yourself in Sochi.

I've been a fan of skeleton for the past few years and now that I'm done with college and free to move I'm seriously considering road tripping to the tryouts being held in Park City on March 1 and looking for a meaningful career out west. Is this reasonable or have I just caught Olympic fever? Any advice is appreciated!

kyletress9 karma

It's absolutely reasonable! Olympic fever is the reason I'm here. My best advice is to go to the tryouts and take your first few trips down the track. You'll know pretty quickly if it's for you.

Frajer5 karma

How often do you feel in danger when competing?

kyletress11 karma

I never feel in danger when competing. Even if the track is notoriously fast, or difficult (like Whister), I'm confident in my ability to get down. The only thing that really scares me about skeleton is the possibility of something or someone being in the track while I'm taking a run. It's happened before, and the result is very bad. I constantly remind myself that the people tasked with keeping me safe are professionals, and they do a great job.

MrPrestige5 karma

Hi there Kyle, what would you say are the three most important qualities to be a skeleton athlete?

kyletress12 karma

Definitely not decisiveness. I keep writing three down, deleting, and writing three more. Fearlessness, patience, and awareness.

Or is it speed, strength, and focus?

Aikaturbo5 karma

Hi! Dutch Redditor here, it's been an amazing olympic games for the Netherlands so far. My questions is if you are actually rooting for certain athletes from other countries if the ones from the USA are not the favorites. Thank you! Enjoy your time in Sochi!

kyletress7 karma

I'm guilty of this, yes. I have many friends from other nations here and I can't help but want to see them do well. Just slightly worse than me, of course. There are also all kinds of 'races within races' going on at the Games that people back home might not see. It's not always just about the medals!

mjh845 karma

I was watching on Sunday and one of the athletes put duct tape on their chin area of the helmet? Is this a drag thing, kind of like nascar?

kyletress6 karma

It might have been to cover up a hole, or maybe to protect the paint job since our chins occasionally hit the ice. Most athletes don't duct tape the helmet, though.

BoomBoomChan5 karma

What do you think of when you go down the track? And how did you get into the sport?

kyletress6 karma

I try not to think too much when I'm on the track. Instead, i want it to be intuitive and subconscious. Thinking in skeleton means you aren't sliding by feel, and you become mechanical. This type of sliding has ended the career of many promising athletes.

MagicalMage5 karma

How much negative emotion (for lack of a better word) goes on between Olympians of different countries?

kyletress17 karma

Very little in skeleton. Our community is amazing. We are (mostly) all friends and would probably do whatever is necessary to help each other out. We might be competitors, but I think we understand that first and foremost we are racing ourselves and the track, not necessarily each other.

Dolce774 karma

Way to go Kyle! Been following your progress through a wonderful old friend you might know...Morgan! I met her in Warren and wanted to wish you congratulations!!! I wish you more continued success!! Go USA!!!!!!

kyletress2 karma

thank you!

mmacpuguy4 karma

What makes one a great skeleton driver/rider and another not? What are you actually doing while going down there?

kyletress4 karma

There are four things you need to be great at skeleton; A fast start, great equipment, lots of experience, and mental toughness. If you have all four of these things maxed out, you're going to win medals.

On the sled, we are making lots of tiny decisions and subtle movements to guide ourselves onto a fast racing line. The track wants to do one thing, and we want to do something else. We manipulate the pressure in the corners (centrifugal force) to accelerate and set ourselves up for the next curve. Part of the challenge in skeleton is knowing when to steer, and when to let the sled run. That goes back to experience. It takes years to develop that intuition.

eziam4 karma

My kids are fascinated by the sport (and cool helmets). How are you able to turn/ move the sled around? What do you do to mentally prepare for a race because I would be closing my eyes and yelling oh shit the whole time

kyletress7 karma

I've actually done that myself a few times.

We steer the sled by applying pressure with our knees and shoulders. Depending on how we set the sleds up, they can actually respond to slight head movements as well. In emergencies, or when we really need the sled to change direction, we can throw out a toe.

My mental preparation is all about staying calm and treating each race day like just another training day. The nerves are there, but I try to channel them into something productive rather than distracting. Mental toughness is a major part of skeleton, and something I have yet to master.

ImTheSloth4 karma

On a scale of 1-10 how do you rate your experience in Sochi?

kyletress7 karma

It's been fantastic. The Russians have been kind and helpful, and I think we will look back and call these Games a success.

buttermuncher4 karma

Thanks for doing this and competing for team USA! I just had a question about communication between different countries. You said that you're very friendly with other athletes, but has there ever been a problem with the language barriers?

kyletress9 karma

Surprisingly no! I think the Japanese team speaks better English than I do.

Coolzo4 karma

What did you think of the accident in the 2010 Olympics with the luge athlete? Did that make you rethink about your sport?

kyletress9 karma

It was heartbreaking to see. I didn't know Nodar personally, but to see a member of our small community suffer a tragic accident like that really shook me up.

I know and accept the risks of what I do. I do it because I love it, much like Nodar did. I couldn't imagine not doing skeleton.

krazykarter3 karma

What are some of the processes that you have to go through behind the scenes, such as registering for the events and the Olympics as a whole (after you arrive), and the morning/day of your own event?

kyletress7 karma

When we came to Sochi in November to test the track, we would load our sleds onto the shuttle bus every day, unload, bring them through security at the track (metal detectors, X-ray machines), load back onto a different bus, unload at the start house, and then repeat when it was time to go home. Our sleds might not look it, but they are about 70 pounds. That was not a fun process for two weeks. At the Games things are more streamlined. We have an amazing coaching staff that takes care of most of the behind the scenes stuff for us, like the registration process. On a daily basis we are mostly tasked with maintaining our equipment, preparing for training by studying video, working out, eating, and then getting ourselves to the venue on time (we have a tendency to run a bit late). We left four hours early for the venue on race day just to be sure.

mymomislizlemon3 karma

how did you get into skeleton? did you have to make a lot of sacrifices for training? since i imagine there probably aren't a whole lot of facilities (maybe i'm wrong though!)

how does it feel to be going 80+MPH.. head first? how would you describe that feeling? is it a rush? scary? or just second nature/auto pilot now?

kyletress3 karma

It will always be a rush. It's never scary, although the first trip down a track at the start of a season always brings out the nerves. I love the speed and adrenaline of racing headfirst at 85 miles per hour. It's so unique.

HITMAN6163 karma

What are your plans after you retire from the sport?

Thanks for the AMA!

kyletress4 karma

Great question! I'm a bit scattered when it comes to future plans. Sometimes I think I'd like to be a writer, or maybe build a startup. Other times I see myself pursuing a career in television. I guess I'll let things play on their own. However I am certain that skeleton will remain a part of my life regardless.

DrkKnght11383 karma

What book are you reading right now, and what is your favorite of all time? Reading has got to be part of your mental training! :)

kyletress9 karma

Great question! My mom was a reading teacher for many years, and I read a lot on when I'm on tour. Right now I'm reading Gates of Fire by Steve Pressfield, which is a fictional account of the Battle of Thermoplyae.

Favorite book of all time? That's a hard one to answer so I'll give you a few; Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Ready Player One, John Adams, Stephen King's On Writing, and the Meditations.

Kknowsbest3 karma

Who was your role model growing up?

kyletress2 karma

My Grandfather. Were he alive, he would have been in Sochi cheering me on. He would have known everything there is to know about the sport of skeleton.

OwenPi3 karma

On a scale of 1-10, how was the quality of the snow/ice in Sochi? (1 being horrible, 10 being excellent)

kyletress7 karma

I don't know enough about the snow sports to comment, but the ice conditions were top notch. 9/10.

The_Lamb_Man2 karma

Have you won any medals?

kyletress10 karma

Yes, but most of them were made of chocolate.

8BitNed2 karma

Where did you hear about skeleton and why did it appeal so much to you?

kyletress3 karma

I first heard of skeleton during the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002. I read an article on Yahoo! and it led me to Lake Placid, New York and my first trip down the track.

Skeleton has it all; speed, danger, athleticism, technology, and racing. It's a beautiful combination.

singeorgina2 karma

What's your typical day like at Sochi?

kyletress3 karma

We didn't have a set schedule since our training times varied so much, but this should give you a rough idea.

7am - 8am - Breakfast

9am - 10am - Media requests/press conference

11am - Lunch

11:30 - Depart for track

12:00pm - Sled and equipment preparation

1:45 - Warmup. Training. 2 runs.

4:00 - Return to Village

5:00 - Dinner 1

7:00 - Video review

8:00 - Dinner 2

9:00 - Sports medicine

10:00 - Movies, TV, read, relax.

Midnight - Bed.

Now that we are done racing I roll out of bed at noon, eat pizza, and watch as many events as I can.

Brinner2 karma

What's your most extreme hobby (that isn't skeleton)? What's your most boring?

kyletress3 karma

I like to write code, and I like to read. Both are probably considered boring, but skeleton is exciting enough. I don't have any other extreme hobbies though I'd love to get a pilot's license someday.

columban112 karma

[deleted]

kyletress3 karma

No problem! I dabbled in all kinds of sports growing up. I played baseball, basketball, tennis... but I didn't find something I loved until I tried skeleton. It clicked for me immediately. Fortunately, if you are athletic and can sprint well, your athletic background doesn't matter too much for future success in skeleton.

DarthSkier2 karma

Where do members of teams who aren't athletes (coaches, trainers, etc...) stay?

kyletress3 karma

Our coaches and trainers stay with us in the Mountain Village. The rest of our personnel stay down in Rosa Khutor, a short gondola ride away if we need them.