Park City’s Casey Dawson makes Olympic debut with borrowed skates after epic journey

BEIJING — After an all out mad dash to get to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing which included three flights, two of which were red-eyes, and nearly 12,000 miles traveled over the span of two days, Park City’s Casey Dawson had to borrow a fellow Olympians blades in order to make his Olympic debut.

Late Saturday night, Dawson finally passed a fourth-consecutive negative COVID-19 test which meant he could finally compete in Beijing after missing the opening ceremonies and the 5,000m event due to the fact that he had tested positive for COVID-19 a few weeks prior.

Immediately, Dawson jumped on a plane to Atlanta on Sunday morning and then proceeded to take a red-eye from Atlanta to Paris, and then Paris to Beijing. Over the course of two days, Dawson had nearly flown 12,000 miles and somehow made it to the Olympic Village with a few hours to spare.

So despite enduring a dramatic journey to make his debut, Dawson was finally about to recognize his dreams come true right? Wrong. In the midst of all his travels, Dawson’s blades had been lost which presented just a slight problem for the speedskater.

However, lucky for Dawson, Lavtian skater Harald Silovs allowed the young American to borrow his blades and Dawson was able to compete in the 1,500m event where he finished 28th with a time of 1:49.45, +6.24 seconds behind the leader.

“It’s the cherry on top of this whole situation,” Dawson said, following his race. “Just being here is just amazing. If I get my luggage or not, I’m still an Olympian.”

Following his epic journey and first Olympic race, he’ll now compete with a chance to medal as a member of Team USA in the team pursuit.

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