A disastrous final run for American skeleton athlete John Daly turned a possible podium performance into a devastating 15th-place finish.
After jockeying with 2014 U.S. Olympic teammate Matt Antoine for third place for much of the day Saturday, Daly saw his his sled pop out of the grooves meant to guide it down the track on his last run. Antoine held on to snag the bronze, but Daly’s mishap caused him to shoot down the leaderboard with no chance to recover.
“It was the most fun I’ve had in my career,” Daly said in an emotional postrace interview, via USA Today, “until that fourth run.
“I went for it. I basically gave it my all. It popped out. There’s no one to blame but me,” Daly said. “It’s all on my shoulders. But I do wish I had a second chance at that run, and I know I could’ve done well. I just wish it went down differently. I wish I gave myself a shot the last run. I feel like I didn’t.”
The bronze was the first Olympic medal for the 28-year-old Antoine — and the second skeleton medal overall for the U.S. in Sochi — but his teammate’s disappointment made for a subdued celebration.
“It’s so unfortunate,” Antoine said. “John and I pushed each other to be where we are, and I don’t think either of us would’ve been competing for bronze if it hadn’t been for the other person. We’ve made each better over the last 10 years.
“My heart goes out to him. That’s a really, really tough way to end your race.”
Alexander Tretiakov of Russia won gold with a combined time of 3:44.29. Latvia’s Martins Dukurs took home the silver.
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