North Texas skeleton athlete Kellie Delka started chasing her Olympic dream more than a decade ago. With the Beijing Winter Olympics less than a month away, she is on the cusp of achieving it.
“I always tell myself when I go, not if I go, because I need to manifest it happening,” Delka.
Delka has been competing in Europe, compiling points to qualify for the Olympics.
For the past four seasons, the Collinsville native and UNT graduate has represented Puerto Rico.
“I got an amazing opportunity to move to Puerto Rico and represent them. They're trying to build up a winter federation of their own,” Delka explained. She has lived full-time in Puerto Rico for several years.
Competing for a small nation has been challenging. “I'm driving across Europe by myself. I'm booking my flights, my hotels, my cars. I'm driving to races alone. It's a different experience. I don't really have a team camaraderie,” Delka said.
But training for a winter sport in tropical paradise does have its perks.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
Watch all the action from the Beijing Olympics live on NBC
“Luckily, I have a beautiful beach to run on, so I can't complain too much,” she joked.
Family and friends back in North Texas have continued to support Delka’s Olympic journey, especially financially. Without them, she says he couldn’t have gotten this far in the sport.
“There's so many people that have been so kind to me and helped me.” In just a matter of weeks, Delka hopes to prove that it has all been worth it.