A day after American Winter Games sweetheart Noelle Pikus-Pace captured silver in the women's skeleton event at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, team USA's Matt Antoine scored a podium finish of his own by winning bronze in the Feb. 15 men's final.
Antoine and teammate John Daly entered the final run of four prepared to battle it out for bronze, with Antoine occupying the third spot and Daly just .04 second behind him in fourth. Although Antoine's final run time of 56.73 ranked only sixth in the heat, it was good enough to secure him the bronze as disaster struck for Daly when his sled slipped off the track at the start of his last run. The error left him a heartbreaking 15th overall.
A tearful Daly spoke with reporters shortly after the run. Although he expressed disappointment in himself and wished for "just one more chance" in Sochi, he was also gracious, saying that he was happy that Antoine had scored a medal.
Gold medal winner Alexander Tretiakov of Russia won all four heats, winning three of four by more than half a second. His cumulative run time of 3:44.29 bested that posted by silver medalist Martins Dukurs of Latvia by a whopping .81 second. Antoine's total time was 2.97 seconds behind that of Tretiakov.
Antoine's medal is the United States' seventh bronze and 14th overall podium finish of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. It is also the nation's first men's skeleton medal since Jim Shea, Jr. won gold at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.