Jared Firestone ’08 is a south Florida native, 2022 Olympic hopeful, and Skeleton racer.
A consummate athlete, Jared played golf and tennis before joining the Upper School.
“I started at Pine Crest in ninth grade with a fractured vertebra,” said Jared. “Coach Hopp was the one who encouraged me to join the Track & Field team. I realized I had some talent there, and Coach Baker helped me take it to the next level. By my senior year, I had set three School records and won a district title in the 100-meter dash.”
Jared’s love for athletics and track, specifically, took him to Tulane University where he continued to run. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Jared attended Cardozo Law School in New York City.
“During the fall of my first year of law school, I had a transient ischemic attack, which is a mini-stroke,” said Jared. “I thought to myself, ‘I can’t believe I’m 24, I spend all this time studying, I live in New York City — I should try to do something more fun.’ I was watching the Skeleton event at the 2014 Olympics and wondered how people get into the sport — they made it look effortless. So I went to the Team U.S.A. Bobsled and Skeleton website and saw they were hosting try-outs in upstate New York.”
View this post on Instagram
And I’m off. Thanks for following along today! To keep track of my journey to qualify for the #beijing2022winterolympics, follow me at @jfireisraelslider and visit www.jfireisraelslider.com. Always happy to answer your legal or sliding questions! #slidingandesquiring #pinecrestschool #pinecrestschoolalumni #teamisrael🇮🇱
A post shared by Pine Crest School (@pinecrestschool) on
Skeleton racing requires an athlete to push a small sled as fast as they can for about 50 meters, and then jump on the sled and drive it down a frozen track while lying face down and head-first. A Skeleton racer can reach speeds over 80 miles per hour.
After graduating from law school, Jared joined the Team U.S.A. athlete developmental program. He spent three seasons with Team U.S.A. before receiving a call from a peer skeleton racer from Team Israel.
“2018 Olympian AJ Edelman told me he was retiring and encouraged me to try out for Team Israel,” said Jared. “So I made aliyah [became an Israeli citizen] and joined Israel’s Skeleton team.”
Jared is a practicing attorney and Realtor in South Florida in the summer, but he spends most of the winter traveling between Olympic training facilities in Park City, Utah and Lake Placid, New York. This year he plans on travelling to Canada and Germany to compete as well.
“During the summer, I live in south Florida,” said Jared. “I train by weightlifting three times a week at a performance gym in Dania Beach. I sprint train twice a week on my own. I also do a lot of mental training, coordination drills, and reflex drills. One thing I have to do in the morning is a relaxation meditation for 15 minutes. It keeps my nerves in check for the rest of the day.”
Jared has spent the past three winters training and racing for Team USA in regional and national races in Park City and Lake Placid. This October, he will be eligible to race in the North America Cup and Europa Cup skeleton racing circuits for Israel.
Team Israel’s Skeleton team has been receiving many comparisons to the movie “Cool Runnings”, starring John Candy, about the Jamaican bobsled team.
“Our team catchphrase is ‘The Frozen Chosen,’” said Jared. “It’s always fun to surprise people. Most people don’t know Israel has a Bobsled and Skeleton team, but we have actually been around since 2003 and had our first Olympian in 2018. It’s cool to be pioneers in the sport and develop it in Israel.”