Helper youth wins contest, visits Olympic gold medalist
Carbon High School student Randy Jones, 16, slid down a sheet of ice head first Saturday going 50.8 miles per hour. Jones was one of twelve high school students from Utah who won the opportunity to attend a skeleton camp at the Utah Olympic Park and meet Olympian Jim Shea.
A contest was offered by Zions Bank which allowed Utah students age 15-18 to participate. Teens entered to win the chance to meet Shea and participate in a skelton camp by taking an interactive virtual skeleton ride on the Internet. Names were then drawn randomly from among the entries.
"I can't wait to do it again." stated Jones, smiling and out of breath after the first of two rides down the Olympic track.
"Riding the corners was the most exciting part."
Skeleton athletes travel head first down the track, lying on their stomachs atop a small sled with rubber side bumpers. Because their chins are a few inches off the ice, sliders can see no more than 10 feet ahead.
Thought by some to be the world's first sliding sport, the skeleton was developed in the late 1880s in Switzerland. The 2002 race won by Shea marked the first time since 1948 when the skeleton was performed as an official Olympic event.
"Participating in a skeleton camp on the official Olympic track is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we're thrilled to offer that chance high school students like Jones," stated Zions Bank senior vice president of public relations, Rob Brough.