Park City Speedskater Prepares For Final Race At Beijing Games
BEIJING — Casey Dawson, the Park City man who was delayed in getting to the Olympics because of a positive COVID test, has skated twice, so far, in Beijing. His final race is the Men’s Team Pursuit race. Medal or not, though, he already gets an Olympic Gold just for getting to the Games.
After everything he’s been through, and a last minute, 4-leg flight to get to Beijing from Park City, Casey Dawson has officially raced in the Olympics.
“Man, it’s been non-stop ever since the flight,” Dawson said.
And not only did he make it to Beijing in time, he also, finally, skated with his own gear.
He had to borrow gear from other skaters when his bags were lost during that whirlwind trip.
“Yeah, I got my skates back,” he said laughing. “I got my bags a couple of days ago and finally skated on my own blades and everything. And I got some new shirts and stuff to wear, haha.”
His teammates sure like joking with him about borrowing gear and shows the closeness they all have, and how that seriously unfortunate chain of events is now something they can laugh at.
“Everything is worth it. Everything led to this point in my career, and I couldn’t be with a greater team to skate with,” Dawson said.
That team includes 3-time Olympics veteran Joey Mantia, who trains with Dawson at the Utah Olympic Oval and enjoys guiding Dawson through his first Olympics.
“Yesterday, I took Casey aside and kind of gave him some strategy on track patterns, and we work hard together as a group and a unit, and I think what I bring to the table is the experience and these guys have the motors that are unbelievable,” Mantia saaid.
It has been an Olympics to remember for Dawson, and one, a couple of weeks ago, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to compete in. Now, he just thanks everyone who has been cheering for him for their support.
“My parents, they’ve been through everything with me,” he said. “They’ve been through the ringer, so they helped me get to this point. And to all the kids who wrote letters to me, I couldn’t appreciate it enough.”