Kristen Hurley

Kristen Hurley is a Skeleton athlete from the USA. She is also a former Collegiate level Heptathlete and Pentathlete, who has won two conference titles as part of the Division 1 Big South Conference. In 2014 Kristen was invited to the United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York and began training in Bobsled and Skeleton and has now completed her second full season of Skeleton. Kirsten was selected to represent the United States and made her International debut in 2017, within a year she had achieved her first victory in international competition- winning the Lake Placid North America Cup race just this past January 2018.

Kristen is starting to flourish in International Skeleton and as she begins a push towards the next Olympics, the main question was how had she come to be in this position and what factors lay behind her success. She told us “ I would never say that I was the most gifted athlete, but I would say that I always tried to be the hardest worker. That attitude started through athletics and now I have carried it over as I strive to become an awesome Skeleton athlete.” Kristen recalled One event that demonstrated that character telling us “ One particular Pentathlon I was behind several hundred points, I needed to win the final 800m event by an impossible 30 seconds in order to win. So in a race where all the other athletes set out pacing themselves as normal. I took off sprinting. I kept running as hard as I could repeating over and over in my head one of my favourite Bible verses that even as a child and throughout my life had always given me motivation and strength”. That verse (2 Corinthians 12:9) which we’ve referenced on Kristen’s poster basically means; When you are weak it doesn’t matter as that’s when you’ll see how strong God is. At the end of the race Kristen had no idea if she’d done enough to win, but It didn’t matter she ‘d done her best. It was only a little later when sat contemplating her efforts with her team that she found out she’d won by a miraculous 32 seconds, winning her first Conference Championship.

It was obvious from that story that Kristen’s faith was important to her. When we asked her why, she said “My belief in God has helped me through many challenges in life. When I feel unloved, I remind myself how much God loves me. When I feel like I don’t fit in or people don’t like me, I remind myself that God tells me I am special, and that Jesus himself did not fit in. What matters is that the God who created the Universe, who knows everything about me, every word I have ever said, every thing I have ever done – loves me! There were times growing up that I felt like I didn’t have friends- but now I believe I have the best friend in the world in Jesus. God is the perfect father who loves you so much that you can’t even comprehend it!”.

Kristen finally had this to say about encouraging you all, as well as sharing her faith with you, “I hope that I can share with you how much God loves you and how he can change your life. I know that bad things will happen and things often will not make sense, but you can trust that God will help you through tough times and you will become stronger”.

In October, Kristen will look to qualify on the international Skeleton circuit, in order to compete from then through to March 2019 and will then continue to push towards her ultimate goal of competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing China and we can’t wait to see how she does.