Nightly News   |  February 12, 2014

Getting it Done: Skeleton Racer’s Lessons from the Farm

Katie Uhlaender, an Olympian from the flatlands of Kansas, has overcome injury, death in the family, and disappointing competitions only to regain her footing and rise again.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally here tonight, part of being here at these games for us is the chance we have to do the up close and personal segments to go behind the events and get a look at the lives and journeys of the athletes that took them here. well, tonight kevin tibbles reports on an athlete that came all the way from kansas and found her calling on one of the fastest sports on ice.

>> reporter: in the wide open flatlands of rural kansas comes the contagious laugh and shock of red hair that is katie euhlander, her real passion is for speed.

>> i am an all- american girl farmer and go fast at 80 miles an hour.

>> reporter: her sport, aptly called the skeleton, a sled sport stripped down to the bare bones , the rider heading down sheer ice. who taught you how to compete?

>> my father was -- very adamant about being competitive.

>> reporter: her father was the late major league outfielder and baseball coach ted euhlander.

>> i would never win anything, he would win at cards, with him, i never really won.

>> reporter: sochi is her third olympics. she is a former world champion and she is even trying out for the olympics in weightlifting.

>> she talks about it.

>> reporter: mom, karen, says that katiey is carrying on her father's legacy. do you think her dad would be proud of her?

>> oh, yeah, he was puffed up like a bull frog when the two of them were together.

>> reporter: her dad died during the vancouver games, heartbroken and recovering from knee surgery she finished a disappointing 11th. she took over her father's farm to honor him and regain her footing. do you miss your father?

>> yes, of course, every day. i thought you were not trying to make me cry.

>> reporter: that is the make you cry question. that was it. personal loss is not the only obstacle to the podium. she suffered a serious training injury in october.

>> i can't do anything about a broken knee but i can do something about the way i respond to it.

>> reporter: she has responded in the same way she takes on everything, head first, just like they do it out here. to you, farmers are heroes?

>> we live a very similar life-style because it is not like you work a 9 to 5 :00 job, you get up and get it done.

>> reporter: and getting it done is what the tough, all- american farmer is all about. kevin tibbleles,