Four-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender’s career as a skeleton racer, as well as her newfound career as a national champion track cyclist, continues to take her all over the world.
But when her hectic training schedule allows, the 34-year-old Uhlaender, a multi-time world and national champion, feels at home on her cattle farm in McDonald, a town of 155 residents in Rawlins County.
“The one thing I love about the farm community and Kansans, in general, is that they never give up and have a never-give-up faith,’’ Uhlaender said. “I am proud to call myself a Kansan for those reasons.’’
Uhlaender, who has competed in four straight Winter Olympics with a best finish of fourth in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, finished 13th in Pyeongchang, South Korea, earlier this year before temporarily switching sports and teaming with Mandy Marquardt to win the women’s team sprint at the USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships.
Uhlaender, daughter of the late Ted Uhlaender, a former Major League Baseball player, coach and scout, has continued to compete despite 12 surgeries. Currently recovering from a back injury, she is still contemplating trying to qualify in track cycling for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the skeleton for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
“My goal would be one of 11 people to make both the Summer and Winter Games,” she said, “and I don’t know how many people have gone to five and six OIympics, but that would be the end goal.”