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Smithown's Daly ready for skeleton test

John Daly, 24, of Smithtown, competes in the

John Daly, 24, of Smithtown, competes in the sport of skeleton at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Credit: Photo by Team USA

Smithtown’s John Daly e-mailed from Whistler late Wednesday to share his thoughts going into Thursday night’s first day of the men’s Olympic skeleton competition. Twenty-eight athletes from 17 nations will have two runs apiece on Thursday and again Friday to determine the medalists.

“Training has gone well and I’m feeling confidence,” Daly wrote. “the track is a little different from the last time I was here [for a training session last year] because it’s faster, but I like it. Sliders will need to stay on their reaction time at 90 mph.”

An Olympic rookie at 24, Daly qualified on the third of three U.S. men’s sleds for the Vancouver Games after spending a brief time on the elite World Cup tour in the late fall.

“I don’t have a pre-race routine because I have always felt every race is different and sometimes you can’t warm up the way you like, or it takes too long to get to the track,” he said. “So, every race is new for me and I go into it with a clear head, but I do like to drink a Red Bull before each race.”

Though skeleton typically is contested during the day, the Olympic event will commence at 6:30 p.m. (Vancouver time) under the lights. “I have competed at night before and like it,” Daly said. “Some tracks have dark patches in places, but that has not been a problem here at all.”

The middle of three children of Jim and Bernice Daly of Smithtown, Daly said “a lot of family and friends” are in town for Thursday night’s race. “I think they all have Team Daly shirts but no one coordinated with others so there are lots of different shirts.”

In the general Olympic excitement, with other events unfolding around him, Daly is housed with other members of the U.S. skeleton and bobsled teams at Whistler’s athletes village.

“No real distractions,” he said, “because I have been so busy. Every day are long practices so I’m only [in the village] for the nights and surrounded with peolpe who are still competing.”

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