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Florian and Daly rally back from rollercoaster week

by USA Bobsled/Skeleton

Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing and Communications Director
(518) 354-2250,

Florian and Daly rally back from rollercoaster week


Austin on track in Igls
Austin on track in Igls (Photo by USA Bobsled/Skeleton)

Photo: Austin Florian on track during his second run

IGLS, Austria (November 26, 2021) – Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) finished 20th and 27th, respectively, in this morning’s men’s skeleton World Cup race in Igls. Florian and Daly had a challenging start to the week. Both athletes tested positive for COVID-19 with antigen and PCR tests on Sunday through the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF). They were tested again on Tuesday by the team, and results were positive for Daly and negative for Florian. Florian was cleared with an antigen test by the IBSF on Thursday, but Daly was not eligible to test again until today. Daly was tested this morning with a PCR test, and he was cleared 20 minutes before the race. 

“It’s been a really stressful week,” said USA Skeleton Head Coach Tuffy Latour. “We didn’t know if it had spread to anyone else on the team, and if or when Austin and John would be able to race. Austin was able to get one day of training, and John didn’t have any days of training this week. I’m glad they were able to race today, and that we’re able to move forward after a really hard week.”

Florian posted the eighth-best start time of 4.93 seconds for the 17th ranked downtime of 53.63 seconds in the first heat. He was slightly slower with a push time of 4.98 seconds in the final heat, and slid to the finish in 53.76 seconds. Florian finished 20th with a combined time of 1:47.93, which was an improvement from his 23rd place finish last week.

Since Daly was cleared just before the race, he was placed at the end of the start list. He pushed a 5.11-second start time for a run of 54.44 seconds, 27th of the heat. He missed the top-20 cutoff for the second heat, but gained valuable points towards Olympic qualification. 

Nominations for the 2022 Olympic team will be made in mid January, and qualification is largely based on international points. If Florian and Daly had missed today’s race, it would have impacted their ability to accumulate points towards what could be Daly’s fourth Olympics and Florian’s first.

It was a wild finish for the medals with a three-way tie for the gold medal. Matt Weston from Britain, Wenqiang Geng of China and Germany’s Christopher Grotheer clocked a two-run total time of 1:46.04 to tie for the lead. It’s the first career gold for Weston and Geng, and the second-ever victory for Grotheer. According to announcer John Morgan, this is the first time in history that there’s been a three-way tie for gold in skeleton.

Racing continues today with the women’s skeleton competition at 2:30 p.m. local time. Streaming will be available via desktop at, and via mobile, tablet and connected television platforms on the Olympic Channel app. Check local listings for broadcast times on the Olympic Channel and

For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at



1. Christopher Grotheer (GER) 1:46.04 (53.16, 52.88);

1. Wenqiang Geng (CHN) 1:46.04 (53.10, 52.94);

1. Matt Weston (GBR) 1:46.04 (53.09, 52.95);

20. Austin Florian (USA) 1:47.93 (53.63, 53.76);

27. John Daly (USA) (54.44, DNS);

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