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Nathan Ikon Crumpton

“The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men….” The 2018 US Olympic Skeleton Team was announced today, and my name was conspicuously, tragically absent. During the first week of practice last fall I blew out a disc in my lower back, and have suffered through pain, agony, and unspeakable frustration as I fought my way through this competitive season and watched a lifelong dream shatter into a million pieces in slow motion over the last four months. Seven years of meticulous, focused effort to optimize every opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games has failed.  I cannot describe the feeling other than to say it’s devastating; I’m psychologically lost, physiologically beaten up, and existentially incomplete.  There’s a void in my soul, and I don’t know how to fill it. Four years ago, I was cut from the US team and granted no international races.  The coaching staff and selection committee saw no potential in me and no reason to develop me as a racer.  Since the previous Olympic season, no one on the team – except for friend & reigning Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine – has earned more top-10 World Cup & World Championship finishes than me.  At the 2016 World Championships in Austria, I was the #1 American finisher and #8 men’s skeleton racer in the world.  It’s a small comfort to remind myself of my past successes during these dark times, but it also makes the sting of failure all the more acute knowing how far I’ve come and how close I’ve been to the pinnacle of my sport. None of this crazy journey would have been possible without all my sponsors and supporters along the way, so from the bottom of my heart I thank you for everything you have done.  It means the world to me. I don’t know what is next.  My inclination is to find some equilibrium, then voyage to a far corner of the globe and disappear for a little while. Congratulations to John & Matt for making the team.  I wish you & all my other sliding friends who qualified the best of luck in South Korea.  I wish I were joining you for that adventure.

Savannah Graybill

This afternoon, the US Winter Olympic team was named. My name was not on that list. ▫️ Right now, words can not express how utterly devastated I feel. This season turned out to be something other than what I expected or anticipated. I struggled to find my rhythm, my confidence and my voice. And despite putting up a strong fight, I ended up having my worst season to date, when it mattered most. ▫️ Though I’m proud of my journey—of the things I’ve accomplished and of the person I’ve become—this is a tough pill to swallow. I’ve sacrificed a lot to get to this point. I’ve missed holidays, birthdays and weddings. Family events and dinners. But most of all, I missed a lot of precious time I could have spent with my grandfather during the last year of his life before cancer took him away from me. This is what stings the most: that I didn’t achieve the dream he and I both wanted so desperately for 2018. ▫️ I am overwhelmed with gratitude for those who have shared this journey with me, and who have supported me—spiritually and financially—along the way. Thank you doesn’t even begin to cover the love and appreciation I have for those friends, family, supporters and sponsors. ▫️ There is still one more race to finish off this season in Königssee, Germany this Friday. It is my hope to end the season on a better note before heading home to decompress before Nationals in March. I’m not sure where my future is headed—another 4 years or down a different path—but I’d be grateful for any prayers as I navigate this space. . . . . #athlete #teamusa #olympics #winter #wintersport #stmoritz #sanktmoritz #snow #skeleton #athletelife #training #girlswholift #fastandfemale #gritbeforegold #contender