NBC: This is your first gold medal! How does it feel?
Elizabeth: It’s incredible! (Looks at camera and hold up medal) MOM! Look I did it!!!
NBC (laughs artificially): Yes, yes you did. You had some trouble coming into the games. What happened?
Elizabeth: Yeah, I spilled hot coffee on my naked stomach, while I was nursing a terrible hangover. It was a 1st degree burn and required some time to heal. While healing, I became terrible depressed and was eating a little too much. So when I returned, I’d lay down and teeter totter on my stomach, which made it difficult to slide.
NBC: How did you know the Skeleton was the sport for you?
Elizabeth: I’ve been doing it forever. Since I was born, I knew I liked laying on my stomach. I read on my stomach, I sleep on my stomach, and I watch tv on my stomach. It was a natural progression.
NBC: These games were very competitive. Tell us a bit about your training?
Elizabeth: I have to give a lot of credit to my coach, Fatty McRibson. We couldn’t find a training center, so we used the stairs in his house and a piece of cardboard. For hours, he would make me run up the stairs and yell from below, “LAY DOWN! SLIDE!” He was brutal, but if I came down the stairs properly, he’d give me a bite of his bacon double cheeseburger.
NBC: Coming into these games, were you concerned about Rastana Puchanovkcha?
Elizabeth: I had to trust my skills and experience, but Rastana was a concern. Because she’s from here, she had the advantage with so much access to snow. I heard she was doing reverse snow angels for up to 6 hours a day and in the summer, she was able to purchase a slip and slide. I had to tape together garbage bags while my mother held a garden hose.
NBC: When you were a teenager, you suffered some devastating news, right? Your brother had become paralyzed while training for the luge?
Elizabeth (holding back tears): Yeah, that was tough. He loved laying on his back. Now, all he can do is sit up. It was a tough time for my family, but he believes in the power of laying down and inspired me to try this out professionally. He said to me, “I have never seen someone lay on her stomach the way you do, Elizabeth. If you could sprint for 10 seconds, I think you could be an Olympian.” I told him that I didn’t like running at all, but he suggested that I start running from the couch to the kitchen during commercial breaks. Once I committed to that, I felt I could possibly qualify.
NBC: What did he say to you before you come out to Sochi?
Elizabeth: He said, “Our family is a family full of layer downers: mechanics, prostitutes, sunbathers, test subjects for massage therapy students. Then, there was Dad. He could shotgun 10 beers and still lay down like a champ. You have a chance to take all that history to the games. I know you can do this, Elizabeth, I believe in you.”
NBC: Well, there you have it! Elizabeth Gomez, Skeleton Gold Medalist! What are you going to do now?
Elizabeth: I’m going to take a break from training. Gonna spend some time standing up at the bar drinking vodka and sodas. When in Sochi!
Hilarious – really well written!!