Headshot of Kyle Tress

Hi I'm Kyle Tress. I'm an Olympic skeleton athlete, writer, and software developer.

This is my personal website, but you should also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Olympic ring etiquette

My Olympic ring arrived yesterday, and because I’m curious (and clearly don’t value my time) I Googled the correct way to wear it. What I found was pretty interesting. From The Complete Book of Etiquette by Amy Vanderbilt, first published in 1952:

For as long as the wearer is in school, the insignia should face the wearer to remind him/her of the goal of graduation. Upon graduation, the class ring gains the status of a “badge of honor” similar to a diploma, with the effect that graduation entitles the wearer to display the insignia facing outward so that it faces other viewers. 1

In sport, current athletes should wear the ring with the insignia facing them to remind them of their goals, whereas retired athletes should wear the ring with the insignia facing outward as a “badge of honor” and a representation of the terrific USOPA motto: Once an Olympian, Always an Olympian; Never Former, Never Past.

Basketball star and National Champion Shabazz Napier didn’t always have enough spending money to buy food, despite the fact that his on-court talent netted UConn, its sponsors, coaches, and other stakeholders loads of money. There is something fundamentally wrong with that, and I agree with his assessment that forming a union would be “kind of great”.

There are plenty of articles about the financial hardships that athlete face, including most Olympians. For every Shaun White, there are hundreds of Shabazz Napiers who barely make enough to pay rent. Money from donations, sponsorships, advertising campaigns, and even Olympic Committees rarely trickles down to the athletes. I’m an Olympian, ranked 3rd in the country and 12th in the world, and I receive no direct financial support. I often wonder how I’m going to pay rent or buy equipment during the next four years while juggling full-time training, work, and competition.

Team USA’s performance in Sochi should guarantee our funding leading up to Korea 2018. The real question is, will the athletes see any of it?

Team USA Visits the White House

I’ll have more to say about the amazing experience of meeting the President and First Lady at the White House on April 3rd, but until then here’s a video of the welcome speech they gave our delegation. Morgan and I are honored to call Paralympian and Navy SEAL Dan Cnossen a friend, and it was great to see him get some recognition from the President and First Lady.

The Martian by Andy Weir is Castaway in space. I planned to buy the Kindle edition in Russia, but between racing and finishing the existing books on my reading list I never got around to it. Yesterday I picked up a physical copy and raced through it in one sitting. Impressive book, impressive author. Check out Andy’s bio from the book jacket:

Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is a lifelong space nerd and devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.

Honestly, who doesn’t like studying orbital mechanics in their spare time?

The Martian reads like nonfiction, but the plot is well paced and engaging so the science and math fade into the background (or stand out, if that’s your thing). I’m looking forward to the movie and hoping Tom Hanks lands the role of Mark Watney. Recommended.

1 Second Everyday Winter Olympics Edition

I had so much fun filming my 2013 1 Second Everyday project that I decided to do it again for, well, the rest of my life. It’s an easy project, but increasingly important and powerful. I’ll have much more to say about 1SE in the future, but until then here’s 2014 to date, including the 27 days I spent competing in the Winter Olympics.

Some of my favorite moments include “If we crash, we’re dead” (3 seconds), “This is my life” (8 seconds), Lacee practicing skeleton (13 seconds), Opening Ceremonies (36 seconds), Bronze Medalist Matt Antoine (45 seconds), and of course returning home to lovely Newark Liberty International Airport at the end.

It’s been a great year.

Up top!

Huffington Post shows some appreciation for the Olympic high five in a series of perfectly timed photos. Despite what the caption may read, it’s not me in the photo but Raphael Meier of Team Austria. Es tut mir leid, Raphi.