Russian ruling hits U.S. Olympian Katie Uhlaender hard
By Scott Reid
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Katie Uhlaender, the U.S. Olympic skeleton athlete, had just arrived in Seoul last week after a long flight from Calgary when she received the first hint that something was amiss.
“Watch your back when you get back home from training you whore,” a person from Russia wrote to Uhlaender on one of her social media sites.
“First day I arrived,” Uhlaender recalled. “Went to sleep, I woke up thinking it was a dream.”
It was actually a nightmare.
Before long it was confirmed: the Court of Arbitration for Sport had overturned an International Olympic Committee decision in December to ban 28 Russian athletes for life and strip them of their results at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi after an IOC investigation showed the athletes took part in a widespread doping system orchestrated and financed by the highest levels of Russian sport.
Perhaps no other athlete was more impacted by the IOC decision and CAS ruling than Uhlaender, who will compete in her fourth Games this month.
Uhlaender finished fourth in the 2014 Olympic skeleton, Russia’s Elena Nikitina edging her for the bronze medal by a mere four-hundredths of a second. Nikitina was among the athletes banned and stripped of their results by the IOC. And she was among the 28 athletes whose appeals were granted by the CAS ruling that reinstated their Sochi results.
Uhlaender was back in fourth place.
In less than two months, Uhlaender has gone from believing, grudgingly at first, that she was an Olympic medalist, to having her heart broken all over again.
“I was assured by multiple people that it was done deal, that it was for real,” Uhlaender said. “Cause people were like ‘oh, congratulations, you’re a bronze medalist’ and I was like ‘wait, am I? Because I don’t have (the medal). Am I?’
“Yeah, at first I was […]