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Eric Neilson

Eric Neilson (via deseretnews.com)

Eric Neilson (via deseretnews.com)

Competing in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Canadian skeleton athlete Eric Neilson first tried the sport when he was 25 years old. Only three years later, he made the Canadian World Cup team and has since recorded several top-10 finishes. At 33 years old, he placed 13th in his Olympic run.

According to his athlete page on the Canadian Olympic Team website, he likes “hiking, water skiing, snowboarding, basketball and beach volleyball.” Someday, he would like to “become a high school physical education teacher.”

Neilson is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and attends the Victoria 1st Ward in the Victoria British Columbia Stake. In his spare time, Neilson is also a mail carrier for Canada Post.

Entering and Excelling in Skeleton

After attending a talent camp in Vancouver following the announcement of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Neilson caught the attention of recruiters based on his build and physical qualifications. Neilson tried skeleton for the first time at age 25, and ended up loving the sport. He started on a rigorous path to train, learn, and perfect his skills. After two years of Neilson commuting from Victoria to Calgary for training, he relocated to Calgary and began training full-time.

Only three years after starting the sport, Neilson made the Canadian World Cup team. After continually ranking in the top 10, the 2012–2013 World Cup season brought Neilson the most success, with seven top-10 placements. His highest placement was at the 2013 World Cup Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where he placed fourth.

Although he started late, Eric Neilson still has the possibility of another Olympic Games ahead of him. If he continues in the success of his recent Olympic run, qualifying for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, is only a matter of patience and continued hard work.

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