‘Try, try again’ worked for Nathan Crumpton, now heading to Tokyo

PARK CITY, Utah. — ‘If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again’ is a theory that Nathan Crumpton has parlayed into a reality. Becoming a winter Olympian was the dream he chased for the eight years he spent on the US Bobsled and Skeleton Team. Becoming a summer Olympian is just the ticket though.

Crumpton will be representing American Samoa in the 100-meter sprint in July. The 35-year-old hasn’t ruled out then trying to qualify to represent the United States in the sport of skeleton in the test event world cups this Fall. Bobsled and skeleton athletes similarly sprint down the icy track pushing the sled down the straightaway wherein a sliding run can be won or lost in the first meters of the track before they even get to the first turn. Further down the track, time can’t be made up, only lost, so split-second starts count for everything in the sliding sports.

Born in Kenya, Crumpton and his American parents moved, in his early years, to Switzerland, Zimbabwe, and Australia, all the while spending extended-family vacations in Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands.

“American Samoa welcomes those with Hawai’ian connections as part of the pan-Polynesian diaspora,” said Crumpton in a statement.

After attending Princeton as a collegiate track and field athlete, he set his sights on the summer Olympic Games but persistent injuries put those dreams on hold.

Feeling called to the skiing and snowboarding lifestyle of the mountains, Crumpton moved to Park City and shortly thereafter joined the US Bobsled team as a push athlete where he could utilize his extensive sprinting training skills. Skeleton suited him better and he ended up traveling the world with the team competing in multiple world championships between 2012 and 2019 notching multiple top-20 and a few top-10 results.

With photography, modeling, sports commentating, and commercial acting on his resume, Crumpton thrives on a work ethic of staying busy. Always moving forward, when he saw an opportunity to compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers for American Samoa, he took it and ran with it. He had hoped to qualify for the 2018 PyeongChang Games in the winter but has now qualified for the Tokyo Games in the summer and his friends and neighbors in Park City will stay tuned to see what’s next for this dynamic athlete.

He wouldn’t be the first athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics, but he is definitely going to try. 

The bobsled/skeleton/luge track at the Utah Olympic Park.
The bobsled/skeleton/luge track at the Utah Olympic Park. Photo: Michele Roepke

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