Altenberg, Germany

Europe Cup 1/13/2021 and Intercontinental Cup 1/16/2021

This was Hunter’s first time visiting the track in Altenburg Germany for training and races. Hunter placed 21st in the European Cup and 16th in the Intercontinental Cup.

You can also read the full article for this event on the official Team USA website.


Jan. 16, 2021, 10:22 p.m. (ET)

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

USA Skeleton athletes earn five top-10 finishes in Altenberg European and Intercontinental Cup races

ALTENBERG, Germany (January 16, 2021)- USA Skeleton athletes Kelly Curtis (Princeton, N.J.), Sara Roderick (Truro, Mass.), Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), and Hunter Williams (Carnegie, Penn.) tallied five top-10 finishes in this week’s Altenberg European Cup and Intercontinental Cup races. Curtis was the top American with a seventh place finish in Wednesday’s European Cup.

“I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to earn some much needed experience on foreign tracks, and to be able to compete during these uncertain times,” Curtis said. “It feels great to be competing again, especially as this is my first year competing as an Air Force World Class Athlete Program athlete.”

Curtis clocked a 5.77-second start time on Wednesday for the ninth best run of 1:00.70. She pushed a start time of 5.81 seconds in the second run, and bettered her downtime to 1:00.21, fifth fastest of the heat. Curtis moved up two spots into seventh with a total time of 2:00.91.

“While my runs weren’t ideal, I’m happy with my progress,” Curtis said.

Roderick was on her teammate’s heels, finishing eighth with a combined time of 2:01.37. Roderick was far ahead at the start with strong push times of 5.62 and 5.60 seconds, and she raced to the finish in 1:00.45 and 1:00.92, respectively.

“It felt good to shake the rust off,” Roderick said. “Racing is always fun, so to finally be able to compete feels great. This track is super fun. I’m super thankful to all of the coaches and staff who made this possible. The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation has done a great job with COVID protocol and I’m excited for the rest of the week.”

Team Germany claimed gold and silver medals. Corinna Leipold was victorious in 1:59.26, and Stefanie Votz was second in 1:59.54. Kimberly Bos from the Netherlands clocked a combined time of 1:59.57 to earn the bronze medal.

Curtis and Roderick were consistent in today’s Intercontinental Cup race, finishing 8-9. Curtis clocked starts of 5.75 and 5.79 seconds for runs of 59.27 and 59.28 seconds, respectively. She finished eighth with a two-run total of 1:58.55. Roderick was again fastest off the block with starts of 5.63 and 5.68. She was in seventh place after a first run time of 59.17 seconds, but fell back two spots into ninth with an aggregate time of 1:58.85.

“Although I’m a little disappointed to drop a spot, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made this week,” Roderick said. “I really like Altenberg. I’m leaving it wishing we had maybe one or two more days, but it’s a nice feeling to leave a track more confident than before.”

Russian Elena Nikitina won the Intercontinental Cup race with a cumulative time of 1:56.55. Sophia Griebel from Germany was second in 1:57.12, followed by Russia’s Yulia Kanakina with a 1:57.30.

In the men’s field, Blaser posted a top-10 finish in Wednesday’s European Cup race. He was consistent at the start with push times of 5.29 and 5.27, and posted downtimes of 59.02 and 59.45 seconds, respectively, for a total time of 1:58.47 to secure 10th place.

“Altenberg is a really fun track, however, I think kreisel and I have some issues after last year’s World Championships,” Blaser said. “I am grateful to be here with such an encouraging group of teammates and competitors, and to get some time to learn and progress. I think everyone leaves Altenberg as a better slider.”

This week was Williams’ first time sliding in Altenberg, which is known as one of the most challenging tracks for new athletes. He missed the top-20 cutoff with the 21st time of 1:00.52 in Wednesday’s first heat.

“It was great to be back racing, especially with all of the uncertainty coming into this season,” Williams said. “It was a bit shocking, but I also expected it to be because it is my first time coming to Altenberg.”

Matt Weston from Great Britain won the men’s European Cup race with a total time of 1:55.24. Lukas David Nydegger earned silver for Germany with a time of 1:55.46, followed by British athlete Jerry Rice in third with a 1:55.97.

Blaser had another respectable performance in today’s Intercontinental Cup race, finishing 13th with a two-run total of 1:56.16 after clocking runs of 58.00 and 58.16 seconds. Despite racing against a more experienced Intercontinental Cup field, Williams had a higher finish today. He slid to the finish in 58.83 and 59.26 seconds for a combined time of 1:58.09 to finish 16th.

“I’m happy with the progress I made this week being on a new track,” Williams said. “I learned a lot from our coach, Matt Antoine, and my teammates throughout the week. It was an honor and very informative to be racing in such a deep field as this race was. I’m looking forward to racing here again in the future.”

The U.S. team will continue to train and compete in Europe for the remainder of the second half of the season. The U.S. missed the first half due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m looking forward to gaining more valuable international experience these next few weeks,” Curtis said.

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


European Cup Women

  1. Corinna Leipold (GER) 1:59.26 (59.25, 1:00.01);
  2. Stefanie Votz (GER) 1:59.54 (59.61, 59.93);
  3. Kimberly Bos (NED) 1:59.57 (1:59.57 (59.46, 1:00.11);
    7. Kelly Curtis (USA) 2:00.91 (1:00.70, 1:00.21);
    8. Sara Roderick (USA) 2:01.37 (1:00.45, 1:00.92);

European Cup Men

  1. Matt Weston (GBR) 1:55.24 (57.67, 57.57);
  2. Lukas David Nydegger (GER) 1:55.46 (57.72, 57.74);
  3. Jerry Rice (GBR) 1:55.97 (57.87, 58.10);
    10. Andrew Blaser (USA) 1:58.47 (59.02, 59.45);
    21. Hunter Williams (USA) (1:00.52, DNS);

Intercontinental Cup Women

  1. Elena Nikitina (RUS) 1:56.55 (58.03, 58.52);
  2. Sophoa Griebel (GER) 1:57.12 (58.63, 58.49);
  3. Yulia Kanakina (RUS) 1:57.30 (58.55, 58.75);
  4. Kelly Curtis (USA) 1:58.55 (59.27, 59.28);
    9. Sara Roderick (USA) 1:58.85 (59.17, 59.68);

Intercontinental Cup Men

  1. Axel Jungk (GER) 1:53.11 (56.67, 56.44);
  2. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:53.57 (56.82, 56.75);
  3. Felix Seibel (GER) 1:53.78 (57.12, 56.66);
  4. Andrew Blaser (USA) 1:56.16 (58.00, 58.16);
  5. Hunter Williams (USA) 1:58.09 (58.83, 59.26);

About USA Bobsled/Skeleton

USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. For more information, please visit the USABS website at  Individuals interested in becoming a bobsled or skeleton athlete can visit