Katie Uhlaender is going to represent her country, family and late father -- former Major Leaguer Ted Uhlaender -- this month at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Katie Uhlaender, a member of the U.S. skeleton team, is competing in the Olympics for this third time after finishing sixth in 2006 and 11th in '10. Like last time, she'll have a special lucky charm from her father.
Ted Uhlaender, who died in February 2009, played eight years in the Majors as an outfielder for the Twins, Indians and Reds, hitting .263 with 36 homers and 285 RBIs.
After his funeral -- which occurred during skeleton season -- Katie Uhlaender took her father's National League championship ring from his time with the 1972 Reds as a memento. It also will be with her during the Olympics.
"My family let me wear the ring after the funeral when I went to World Championships four days later to compete," Katie Uhlaender told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "It was meant as a reminder of what it takes to win, and that he was with me."
That was a constant message Ted Uhlaender shared with his daughter, now 30, who resides in Breckenridge, Colo., and also is nationally ranked in weightlifting.
"My father raised me as an athlete, to take responsibility for losing as well as winning," she told the newspaper. "He never let me win at anything, and taught me to work for everything I got. If you weren't an athlete in our family, you weren't cool. It was a matter of honor."
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.