LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The USA IBSF World Cup Skeleton Team and Europe Cup Skeleton Team were announced on Tuesday for the first half of the 2023/2024 sliding season. The athletes named to the World Cup Skeleton Team are as follows: Mystique Ro, Sara Roderick, Michelle Toukan and Katie Uhlaender in the women’s division and Dan Barefoot, Austin Florian and Hunter Williams for the men’s division. The sliders named to the EC team are Bradley Nicol, Darryl Payne Jr. and Nick Tucker.
“I am excited for the season to get underway with the new team we have this year. From athletes to coaches, there are a lot of new elements to our program this season. We are all eager to get out there and start competing!” said Matt Antoine, USA Skeleton Head Coach in a statement.
Dan Barefoot will be making his World Cup debut this year, which will be his seventh season in the sport. One of Barefoot’s greatest accomplishments in the sport thus far has been competing in World Championships during the 2022/2023 sliding season.
Austin Florian continues on the World Cup stage after five seasons on the World Cup circuit. Last year, he competed in the World Cup Championships as well in St. Moritz, Switzerland. At World Cup Races, Florian finished in the top six numerous times on the international stage.
Hunter Williams is entering his sixth year sliding. This will be his first year on the World Cup tour. He names his top-six finish in Sigulda, Latvia on the EC circuit as one of his greatest accomplishments in the sport thus far.
On the EC circuit, there will be no shortage of talent as well.
Bradley Nicol has been involved in the sport of skeleton since 2021. Nicol has extensive experience on the NAC circuit. During the 2022/2023 season, he placed in the top six three separate times, including a second-place finish in the Lake Placid NAC race.
Nicol, from Northern Utah, was interviewed in October by TownLift in Lake Placid about his tied-third place race result and his ties to Heber City.
Darryl Payne Jr. is entering his fifth season in the sport. He has become one of the fastest pushers in Men’s Skeleton in the sport. Last season was his first season sliding in Europe.
Nick Tucker is entering his second year in the sport. Last year at the World Push Championships, he finished in the top eight during his rookie season.
The first World Cup race of the 2023/2024 sliding season will be on Nov. 17 in Yanqing, China. However, the first World Cup race the United States will compete at will be on Dec. 8 in La Plagne, France. The first EC race will take place in Lillehammer, Norway on Nov. 30.