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Who is John Daly?

Who is John Daly?

Get to know the skeleton athlete with hair that is “wind proof, helmet proof and bullet proof”

Skeleton Beginnings 

Born June 10, 1985 in Queens, N.Y. Daly first tried sliding sports in sixth grade based on a recommendation from his gym coach. He initially competed in luge before switching to skeleton. His father Jim, a Vietnam War veteran and a retired FDNY medic, would drive nearly six hours to take his son to Lake Placid to train on weekends.

Daly was a track in field athlete in college. He broke the decathlon record at State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

He decided that he wanted to become an Olympian when he watched U.S. speed skater Dan Jansen win the 1994 Olympic 1000m gold medal. He admired the patriotism of the Olympics, and noticed that his mother shouted “we won” rather than “he won” when Jansen triumphed. 

Major Competitions/Medals 

Daly finished 17th in his Olympic debut in 2010. 

He was in contention for a medal entering his final run at the 2014 Games, but his sled popped out of the start groove, sending him into a skid. He decided to retire after finishing 15th in Sochi.  

He ended his retirement and returned to the sport in 2016.

Breakout Moment

Daly was considered a longshot to make the 2010 U.S. Olympic team because he was competing in the International Cup and North American Cup, which are both considered a step below the World Cup circuit. But he won six consecutive races and collected enough international points to earn an invitation to Vancouver. He found out that he made the Olympic team when he received a phone call asking for his jacket size. 


Daly claims that his hair is “wind proof, helmet proof and bullet proof,” even when he sliding headfirst upwards of 80 mph. 

“I HATE when my hair is messed up…so it never is,” he said. 

Top Quotes 

U.S teammate Nathan Crumpton: “He does so much ridiculous stuff, I don't know how he hasn't been expelled from the sport a dozen times already. Probably because he's incredibly funny, good looking, and extremely likable.”

Olympic Experience

2014: No medals
2010: No medals

Off the ice

Daly sells medical devices for Smith & Nephew, which causes him to spend a lot of time in hospitals. He is proud to sell products that help children with sleeping disorders. He sets his alarm for 5:30 a.m., works for eight hours and then begins about five hours of training in the evening. He wears a necklace that reads: “It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.”

He produces a web video series called “Your Daly Nirtro” with two-time Olympic bobsled medalist Steve Langton. He describes Langton as someone who is a great friend and roommate, and an incredible athlete. He also pointed out that Langton has “phenomenal hair.”

He jokes that he tries to be shirtless as often as possible during training. 

He often receives messages on Twitter meant for the golfer with the same name. 

Social Media

Twitter: @JohnDalyUSA 
Instagram: johndalyusa 


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Matt Antoine | John Daly | Annie O'Shea

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