Photo By Tessa Marie Images.
Growing up, Courtney Webb had big Olympic dreams. Dedicated to gymnastics, she hoped to one day join the ranks of its greats. But it wasn’t to be. Decades later, her Olympic dreams have been revived, this time in the high-speed downhill winter sport of skeleton. The QVC host and West Chester resident has been training for several years and plans to compete in the regional tournament this month, with hopes of later landing a spot on Team USA to compete in the 2022 Games in Beijing.
MLT: Why skeleton?
CW: I actually had a company, and I was in a WeWork office in Manhattan. Lauren Gibbs, who won silver last Winter Olympics, was in the same office working for a different company. One day, I was getting some tea and she just walked up to me and was like, “I always see you around, and I see you leave or come in workout clothes and you look like you’re fast. You have the perfect body type for skeleton.” I went back to my desk and Googled it. I went to my first combine [soon after].
MLT: What made you commit?
CW: I went to Park City, Utah, and slid down the last three turns of an entire bobsled skeleton track. I was so dizzy I couldn’t see. [The coach goes,] “Do you want to do it again?” I said yes. [He made a couple of suggestions,] I did the two things and he goes, “You have something that I can’t teach. You can take direction and you can apply it within split seconds. I want you to come out here and move to Utah for two months.” It was kind of crazy. I worked and slid for two months straight. Funny enough, I actually met my husband because of it.
MLT: How do you train?
CW: I do Olympic Training—which is lifting, plyometrics, speed and agility—at Method Hockey in West Chester. On my own, I do flexibility yoga sessions. When the season starts, it’s going down the ice, perfecting my turns, how I steer and how my brain can speed up. With skeleton, you’re going so fast (85-90 mph), your face is so close to the ice and there’s so much G-force involved that there are some times where you’re blind on the track and your brain has to react faster than it’s ever had to.
MLT: Were you always athletic?
CW: I was put into gymnastics at the age of 3. I did it competitively all the way up until probably 11. [After that,] my mom threw me into every single sport in my school. I did track, lacrosse and cheerleading all four years of high school and then played collegiate lacrosse at Baylor University.
MLT: What does it mean to revive your Olympic dreams?
CW: It’s nerve wracking, exciting and daunting all at the same time. It’s a lot of emotions, but the best I can do is just to give it one day at a time.