UC professor's sled design rides to Olympic bronze

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A bronze medal for U.S. Olympic athletes at the games in Sochi, Russia has ties to the University of Cincinnati.

American Matt Antoine was riding the ProtoStar V5 skeleton sled Saturday when he clinched the bronze medal for the U.S. Men's Skeleton Sled Olympic Team.

The design team for the ProtoStar V5 was led by Grant Schaffner, an assistant professor in UC's Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and Tuffy Latour, the head skeleton coach for the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

Antoine's friend and teammate John Daly was also racing the ProtoStar V5, but lost his chance at a medal when his sled slipped from the start grooves on the final run.

Katie Uhlaender was also racing on the ProtoStar V5 in the women's competition, missing a bronze medal finish by just four-hundredths a second. Uhlaender also has ties to Cincinnati. She's the daughter of the late Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ted Uhlander, who was with the Reds when they played in the 1972 World Series.

The development of the skeleton sled is a partnership between Cincinnati-based ProtoStar Engineering (the lead company for the technology team), UC's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), Fairfield-based Machintek Corporation, deBotech Inc. of North Carolina and Carpenter Technology Corporation of Pennsylvania. Testing got underway last September at the A2 Wind Tunnel, a premiere aerodynamics testing facility in Mooresville, N.C.

Schaffner joined the athletes in Russia for competition. Last fall, the ProtoStar V5 skeleton sled was awarded the gold and bronze medal in World Cup competition.

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