Katie Uhlaender didn't qualify for the Olympic Games in weightlifting on Sunday, but that isn't going to stop the skeleton world champion from trying again in 2016, she said.
"I do have long-term goals now," Uhlaender said during a live chat on February 29, 2012, four days before the trials. "I wasn't really sure if I wanted to go for Rio (de Janiero) but after talking to (my coaches) … they reminded me that I'm young and I've made such great gains in a year that I shouldn't rule Rio out."
After failing in her attempts to snatch 80 kilograms Sunday, Uhlaender reconfirmed that she plans to train for the 2016 Olympic Games. After all, the 27-year-old Winter Olympian competed in the U.S. Weightlifting Olympic Trials just ten days after becoming a world champion in skeleton.
She's only been seriously training in weightlifting for less than a year, and during much of that year, Uhlaender was injured. In fact, the Olympic Trials competition was only Uhlaender's third weightlifting meet. Nevertheless, Uhlaender said she hoped for more.
"With me only having done the sport for a year, I'm pretty happy," Uhlaender told The Denver Post after the meet. "… It's definitely not what I was hoping for, but I feel like I've proven that I'm right there with the best in the country and I'm going to be a threat for Rio -- even though it's four years away. I really think this is the beginning for me in weightlifting."
But before Uhlaender looks toward the 2016 Olympic Games, the skeleton world champion first plans to look to the 2014 Olympic Games, she said. Uhlaender is a two-time Olympian in skeleton, and in 2014, she hopes to head to her third Winter Olympic Games, she said.
"I am looking toward Sochi with a great smile on my face because this has been a great boost heading into the last two years before Sochi," Uhlaender said during the live chat. "I couldn't have asked for more than winning the World Championships on my home track."
Read more about Katie Uhlaender: Skeleton World Champion Katie Uhlaender Focuses on Weightlifting Olympic Trials
Sandra Johnson is an avid Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46
- Katie Uhlaender