Katie Uhlaender Let Twitter Decide Which Eagle Helmet at Olympics

Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 03:17 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Three-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender will wear a patriotic Eagle helmet for the skeleton competition at the Sochi Olympics, and she let her Twitter followers decide which one.

Uhlaender told the Chicago Tribune that she came up with the idea to let her fans decide which helmet she would wear after joking about it with fellow snowboarders, including gold medalist Jamie Anderson. From there, she posted photos of the helmets on Twitter and asked for advice. 

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"I just decided to tweet a photo of both helmets and see what the public thought," Uhlaender said. "Because I wasn't sure about changing helmets just before the Olympics was a good idea and it blew up. There were like a thousand tweets about it. I decided to tally it up and let them pick my helmet."

The selected helmet was painted by a person who designed the helmet of former Olympic champion skier Picabo Street, a close friend.

"She is an inspiration for me," Uhlaender said of Street to the Tribune. "She offered to hook me up with her guy that painted her 2002 helmet, and this is what he came up with."

Uhlaender, daughter of former Major League baseball player Ted Uhlaender, who won a National League championship with the 1972 Cincinnati Reds, said Street has played an important part in her life as a mentor since her father died of a heart attack in 2009 after battling cancer, according to The Associated Press. 

Street said that Uhlaender has moved forward mentally and physically and is ready for a solid performance.

"She's in a way better place and it took a while," Street told the AP. "It would take a while for anybody to get there. Ted was her rock. He was her idol. He was her daddy. He played so many roles in her life and I think what has happened over the last four years is that she has realized that she's her own person."

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