Utah’s High Altitudes Helps Athletes Train For Olympic Games

Jul 29, 2021, 7:21 PM | Updated: Feb 12, 2023, 5:58 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Track and Field Olympian Nathan Ikon Crumpton is no stranger to Utah after training in Park City for Team U.S.A. in the Skeleton for the Winter Olympics. Now, Crumpton, competing for American Samoa, has his eyes set on gold in the 100-meter dash.

“Last summer, I was looking at the 100-meter times and I was wondering if I could actually be competitive in the 100-meter dash,” said Crumpton.

Crumpton lived in Park City for eight years when he was a member of Team U.S.A.’s skeleton team.

“There’s a good amount of overlap between the two, between sprinting and skeleton racing, but it’s definitely not a perfect match,” he said.

Crumpton said he’s working hard on his biomechanics to get used to running with power and force, standing upright for 100 meters, instead of the bent-over position required to push a skeleton sled about 35-meters before jumping on it.

“Competitively, it’s about three times as long,” he said, “and so training your body to go that much harder for that much longer is actually a pretty steep task.”

Crumpton has plenty of World Championship experience as a skeleton racer, but he never made a U.S. Olympic team. However, switching to becoming a sprinter a couple of years ago, he qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by eight-hundredths of a second to represent American Samoa in the Games.

“I switched over to American Samoa, courtesy of the Polynesian heritage on my mom’s side of the family,” Crumpton said. “They welcomed me with open arms and I’ve been running for them ever since.”

Crumpton missed out on the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang as a skeleton racer after suffering a back injury.

He said that was heartbreaking and a low point in his life where he had to escape for a while. However, Crumpton achieved his dream of competing in the Olympics as the preliminary rounds began in Tokyo Saturday for the 100-meter dash.

Unfortunately, he came in last during his heat and is out of the Games.

But his dream of making the Olympics came true, and no one can ever take that away from him.

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Utah’s High Altitudes Helps Athletes Train For Olympic Games