CALGARY, Alberta - The Olympic bobsled season commences with the first World Cup event in Calgary, Canada this week.
The U.S. national team has spent weeks preparing for the start of the season and is eager to pave the road to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games with medal performances.
It's been two years since the national team raced in a Calgary World Cup event. The tour skipped Calgary last season, and several team members opted out of racing the Calgary event during the 2011-2012 season in favor of additional training on the 2012 World Championship track in Lake Placid.
The U.S. team has a proven track record on the 1988 Olympic track in Calgary, and is looking to start the 2013-2013 season on the podium.
Noelle Pikus-Pace, Katie Uhlaender, John Daly, Matt Antoine and Kyle Tress will be a tough squad to beat in the skeleton competitions. Pikus-Pace and Uhlaender hope to carry momentum from their 1-2 finishes on the 2014 Olympic track last season.
Daly had two fourth-place results in 2012-2013, and he'll be eager to crack into the medals for the first time in his career. Antoine is on a roll after sweeping the U.S. skeleton selection races, and Tress is eager to maintain a third spot for the men's team by posting a top-10 finish.
Elana Meyers and Aja Evans will race the BMW branded sled as USA-1 on Friday, and the crew is chasing more than a medal, but potentially a start record.
Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling will be stiff competition for Meyers and Evans from start to finish in the Putinka sled, while Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones will be in the mix in the Sliding for Hope sled.
Steven Holcomb will partner with his Night Train II crew of Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt. Langton is expected to race with Holcomb in the Under Armour two-man sled.
Nick Cunningham will pilot the Century 21 four-man sled with Dallas Robinson, Johnny Quinn and Abe Morlu. Cunningham will pilot the two-man 24 Hour Fitness sled with Robinson on the brakes.
Cory Butner, Chuck Berkeley, Andreas Drbal and Chris Langton will race the CEVA four-man sled, and Butner and Berkeley will race the KOA two-man sled on Friday.
The Park City, Utah North American Cup started last Thursday and will conclude today with the third and final four-man race before the tour moves on to Lake Placid. Codie Bascue, Jake Peterson, Jay Noller and Colin Coughlin are expected to pilot sleds for the U.S.