Aviano's own Olympian

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Noah Sudolcan
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Pulling 5 G’s is just a normal part of Airman 1st Class Kelly Curtis’s day. Racing head-first down icy slopes reaching upwards of 80 mph Curtis is a member of the USA Skeleton team headed to the 2022 Winter Olympics to compete in Beijing.

Curtis, U.S. Air Force world class athlete, has been performing Skeleton for 7 seasons and competing for 5. Curtis says her favorite part is getting to include family and friends who have been supportive of her endeavor for years.

“The monotony of the day in/day out grind with just my teammates might be starting to pay off,” said Curtis. “Now my family and friends can see what it is I actually do in a high quality broadcast.”

Curtis started out as a heptathelete, a combination of 7 different track and field events.

“During driving school I saw and slid Skeleton for the first time and was intrigued right away,” said Curtis. “After completing graduate school, I joined the USA Bobsled team for a season before switching to Skeleton full time.”

Curtis recently found out the years of hard work paid off when she received the news that she made the Olympic team.

“I couldn’t believe it, I was such a long shot with this being my rookie season on the World Cup level and competing on all foreign tracks, some for my first time,” said Curtis. “I knew everything had to go right in my final race to qualify me, it’s still surreal that it did.”

The World Cup usually consists of 8 races spread out between North America and Europe but was limited to solely Europe this season.

“I had to win the final race to be named to my first World Cup team and was able to deliver on the day,” said Curtis.