Team USA’s Kelly Curtis has completed the first two heats in Day 1 of women’s skeleton at the 2022 Beijing Games, and she is the first Black skeleton athlete to do so.
Since skeleton was first introduced in the 1928 Games in St. Moritz, Kelly is the first black athlete to represent Team USA. While the pressure to be the “first” is evident, Kelly said she is “treating this like every race.”
The 33-year-old previously competed in bobsled before turning her attention to skeleton. “I saw how much more fun they were having on a skeleton sled,” she said. “… I was like, ‘I want to try that.'”
Growing up in Princeton, New Jersey, her sport of choice was track and field and in the winter, it was basketball.
Now, Kelly will turn her eyes on completing her Olympic skeleton run.
“I’m the first,” Curtis said, of being the first Black skeleton athlete from the U.S. to compete at the Olympic Games. “But I’m definitely not going to be the last.”