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South Valley Journal

Biles Races at Youth Olympic Games

Apr 08, 2016 09:38AM ● By Greg James

By Greg James | [email protected]

South Valley - A Herriman resident competed at the Youth Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway in February. Fifteen-year-old Duncan Biles and his luge doubles teammate Alanson Owen from Park City placed eighth overall.

“It was pretty spectacular. He is an amazing athlete to watch. We were really happy with where he finished. To see him there competing and with all the USA gear on, it was an amazing experience. I do not know how I could ever repeat that feeling,” Duncan’s father Russell Biles said.

Biles left for Lake Placid, NY in mid-October to train for the opportunity to compete in the games. His training included four world cup races. The Junior World Cup opened in Lillehammer in November where Biles and Owen placed 10th overall. They then traveled to Sigulda, Latvia and placed seventh overall. The team’s third stop was Konigssee, Germany, where they did not finish. The final World Cup race was held in Innsbruck, Austria and they finished 12th.

The team completed its international competitions Feb.15 in Lillehammer at the Youth Olympic Games. The races were held on the 1994 Olympic track. Biles and Owen started their two timed runs behind the other competitors, but were able to make significant gains at the bottom of the track to finish eighth.

They finished just four-tenths of a second behind the Austrian team in seventh place.

“We made up a lot of time at the bottom. It felt good and I was happy with the results. It made me feel like I have accomplished something. My friends were all very supportive,” Biles said.

In the team relay the United States finished 10th overall. The relay consists of three runs: a female, male and doubles team. At the end of each run the rider hits a paddle and the gate at the top opens so the next run can begin. The overall time establishes the team’s time.

Biles started sledding five years ago. He began as a member of the Wasatch Luge Club. He started with singles and recently switched to doubles. He said he likes working as a team and discussing how they did.

During a race the sled can reach speeds of over 70 miles per hour.

“I am usually thinking about the next move. Sometimes in the straights I get to relax, but not for long. I really need to concentrate on the turns,” Biles said.

He will return to Herriman after the Junior National Finals March 11–12 (after press deadline). This summer he plans to continue racing motorcycles at Utah Motor Sports Park in the MotoAmerica series. Biles is a sophomore at Herriman High School. He was able to complete most of his schooling online during his training.

“Sometimes I get homesick. School has been hard. Sometimes the places we are at do not have the best Internet. It makes it hard to do my work online. I really had to commit to do the work,” Biles said.

He would like to compete in the Olympic Games.

“The ultimate goal is the Olympics, but right now I want to keep progressing and getting faster and faster. I want to start feeling more comfortable on the sled,” Biles said.