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Prairie du Chien's Matt Antoine makes Olympic team in skeleton

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Prairie du Chien's Matt Antoine makes Olympic team in skeleton

By Lance Allan. CREATED Jan 17, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan 18, 2014

Another Wisconsin Olympic hopeful is peaking at the right time: Prairie du Chien's Matt Antoine, a skeleton slider, is heading to Sochi after the US Skeleton team named him to the Olympic squad on Saturday.

His spot means 26 athletes with Wisconsin ties are heading to Sochi for the Games.

This sports requires some explanation.

"Pretty much the first thing people say is, 'What's that?' " Antoine told TODAY'S TMJ4's Lance Allan.

"My typical response is, 'You know what a bobsled is,' and they typically say, 'Yes.'  Then I say, 'It's headfirst on your stomach on the same track,' and people say, 'Oh, it's the reverse of luge.' That's basically what it is."

Southwestern Wisconsin is not quite the area you expect an elite-level skeleton racer to come from.

"I first saw skeleton in 2002 (Salt Lake City) when it made its return to the Olympics full time (from 1948).  I'd always been into racing and winter sports.  The U.S. had huge success in those games, winning gold in both men's and women's.  It was a huge story during the Olympics.  It got a lot of exposure, and it really caught my attention."

His first World Cup win came in December, and now the awards are stacking up at his mom's house in southwestern Wisconsin.

"I wouldn't mind upgrading to an Olympic (medal).  We'll keep working toward that and seeing what happens."

Jay Sorgi contributed to this report.

Lance Allan

Lance Allan

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Lance Allan joined TODAY'S TMJ4 in 1996. He attended Rice Lake High School, UW - Barron County, and UW - Madison.