Welcome back to the spotlight, John Daly.
The New York native, who walked away from skeleton after a disappointing performance at the Sochi Games in 2014, is back for one more run in PyeongChang and he’s got plenty of support to back him up. Daly is hoping to wrap up his comeback with a medal, looking to erase the bitter memories of his last Olympics and, most importantly, do his family proud after years of encouragement.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Daly family and how they got the 32-year-old back on his board:
1. Daly Credits His Family for His Success
Daly has always been a dominant athlete, but no matter what he’s doing – running track and field or sliding down a giant track of ice on a sled – his family has supported him every step of the way. In fact, Daly regularly credits his parents, siblings and Aunt Sabina for his success, telling Team USA they have “all been there from the beginning.”
And, now, heading into his third Olympic Games, the Daly family has plenty of reason to be proud.
Daly has competed in just about every international skeleton event, including the Vancouver and Sochi Olympics, the World Cup, Intercontinental Cup, European Cup and North American Cup. Despite his retirement after the Sochi Games, Daly has still notched solid performances in the last few months. He placed 17th in Lake Placid in November 2017 and notched an 18th-place finish in Park City the same month.
He also placed 15th in St. Moritz and 10th in Koenigssee in January 2018, a big-time confidence boost as he looks to get back on the podium in PyeongChang.
2. His Father, Jim, Is a Retired FDNY Medic
Daly is the first to point out that he gets his drive from one person – his father.
Jim Daly, a retired FDNY medic, comes from a family of law enforcement officials, including his brother and father who also worked for the fire department. Daly’s brother, Jim Jr., is a Rikers Island corrections officer, but the Olympian never felt the pressure to pursue a similar career. His father encouraged his athletic tendencies, even when they might have been just a bit more dangerous than run-of-the-mill sports.
Daly’s father regularly recounts watching his then-teenage son break both of his wrists while BMX racing at the Grand Nationals in Kentucky, requiring surgery, but the injury didn’t hold him back. And his father made sure to help him get back on track, quite literally. “He was jumping out of a tree two days later,” Jim Daly told AM New York. “And then the pin in his wrist, they had to pull it out with a pair of pliers and redo it. That was John.”
3. Daly’s Mother Sparked His Interest in the Olympics
Daly’s mother is not a sports fan. She doesn’t read stories or pay attention to games, but, once, every two years, when the Olympics are on TV, she makes an exception.
And that interest changed Daly’s entire …read more