Olympic Bobsled & SkeletonUncategorized

Blog Part 5.2: 14 Fabulous Bobsled Men

2014-2015 USA Men’s Bobsled World Cup Tour Team

I just got done watching the World Cup Championship Men’s 4 man bobsleigh race.  1000’s of fans flock to watch this event. It is akin to a pro sport team event here in the US.  These guys  from all over the world are celebrities in Europe and other countries.  Well,  This is my opportunity to introduce you to 14 pretty amazing athletes and just all around good guys.   Though I have only spent about 4 weeks total by the 2 weeks in Lake Placid and 2 weeks on the world cup circuit, I would have to say I got to know some of these guys pretty well.   In the blogs to follow I will share some fun memories, but lets just get them introduced to you!

Steven Holcomb:   Steve the the veteran of the USA team as I said before he has been at this sport since he was 17. He has been to 3 Olympic games and has no plan to slow down anytime soon.  He is a quiet leader.  He truly leads by example.   Steve also served 7 years in the Utah National guard with the World Class Athlete Program.   When asked what he would do if he was not bobsledding, he replied to me” what what you do if you were not a chiro?”  Point well taken!  Bobsledding is his life and is part of his DNA.   He has an Olympic gold metal in 4 man at 2010 in Vancouver and Bronze in 4 man and 2 man in Sochi in 2014.  He is on the hunt for the Olympic Gold in the 2 man going into the 2018 games in South Korea. Steve is from Park City Utah. He also has a biography that goes into detail about how he almost went blind and ended his career.  Check it out! But Now I See: My Journey from Blindness to Olympic Gold By Steven P. Holcomb.
Justin Olsen:  Olympic Gold 2010 in 4 man bobsled in Vancouver.  Justin was really the first person I talked to when I  went out to Lake Placid.  He is a very large guy in stature that I about ran into literally in the stairwell after dinner when I was first there.  I hadn’t talked to anyone so I decided to take a chance and just talk to him and find out who he was and what he does.   Justin was very kind and answered my questions and was humble about his gold medal.   Justin is also part of the New York National Guard in their World Class Athlete program.  Having more time to talk to him on the road, he was genuine and funny and very friendly. Justin is from Texas.
Nick Cunningham:   Nick is a 2x Olympian as he has been to the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. Nick has been part of the bobsled team since 2008. He too is part of the New York National Guard and has the rank of a Sergent.  Meeting Nick in Lake Placid he was very nice and fun to “people watch” because he is so full of expression.   He proved no different in Europe.  Many times he made us laugh while in the training room.  He is not afraid to make fun of himself or playfully those around him.   He gets really focused as a driver but he is always engaging those around him in conversation even if he doesn’t know them. His team has varied in both 4 and 2 man bob at times and he embraces the change each time and leads his team with ease and grace.  He loves country music and has the best cowboy boots. I would have sworn he was from Texas, but he is a  California boy.   He loved bull riding as well before he needed to keep his body whole for Bobsled.  He is just so genuine and an all around great guy.
Adam Clark: Adam started in this sport in 2011.  I met him in Lake Placid and he was a quiet and gentle guy. He is married to his wife Ashley who is a Dentist in the Air Force and he is extremely proud of her and her service and career (rightly so!). Adam and I spent a lot of time together in the training room as he knows his body really well. I was thankful that I could be of service to him and felt that we were getting our rhythm when it was time for me to leave.  (Next year Adam, I got you figured out to help you!). In spending time together we did a lot of laughing.   He loves his family farm in Kentucky which is still home for him though he lives in North Carolina for his wife’s dental career with the air force. He is well educated and very dedicated to bobsled.   We enjoyed talking cross fit as well.  Some athletes have no idea how to care for their bodies. Adam is very in tune with his body and continues to fine tune it. I loved that he kept me on my toes.  We both grew to trust each other and that proved to provide a few laughs throughout the weeks.
Adrian Adams:   Adam has been in the sport since 2012.  Fun fact is that his dad was a bobsled athlete and introduced him to the sport. Adrian was so gracious when I totally screwed up his name at breakfast one morning.  He was kind enough to correct me and then still sit with me at breakfast!   Awesome fact about Adrian is that he had the opportunity to be a push athlete for the first female driven 4 person bobsled with Olympic Champion Elena Meyers Taylor this season as it was a first to have a female driver.   Adrian was newer to chiropractic care and I was thankful to provide him with a good experience and help him to get to know his body better in order to compete at the world cup level. Adrian is from North Carolina
Sam Michener: Sam has been in bobsled since 2012-2013 season. I did not get to meet Sam in Lake Placid as he was under the weather. Then in France,I finally get to meet this kind hearted guy from Oregon.  Then he became under the weather again.  We both laughed that the two times I work with the team he was not 100%.   He recovered well thank God!   Sam is a track and field athlete that earned a spot on the USA 1 sled this season.  He has a good nature personality that makes it easy to talk to him. Sam, let’s not make it a habit of you less than 100% each time we meet!
Codie Bascue:   I spoke of Codie in the previous blog as he has been driving bobsled since the age of 8!   He did have the opportunity to be a push athlete for some world cup races. He has been in the youth Olympics in 2012, on the North America’s cup circuit and even raced a few races in the Junior World’s over the past few years.  Codie is young, but has major potential to grow in this sport.  I am certain he is a bit more outgoing around people that he knows well, he was just quiet and polite when I had the opportunity to talk with him.  Little did I know that Codie and I share the same birthday.  He just happens to be more than a decade(ok, closer to 2 decades) younger than myself!
David Cremin: This is David’s 1st year in bobsled.   I got to spend sometime with David in Lake Placid. He is a very nice young man who comes with a good family pedigree in bobsled.  His cousin’s are Steve Langton (Olympic Medailst) and Chris Langton.   David is from Virginia and comes from a rowing background.   Just from Lake Placid to when I saw him France, he grew dramatically in size and was working hard at his new found craft.   David was very nice and engaging.   I look forward to seeing what his dedication can do for him over the next few years in the quad.
Dustin Greenwood:  This is Dustin’s 1st year in the sport. I didn’t get to know Dustin too well, but when I did have interactions with him, he was very courteous, almost zen like peaceful personality and educated.  Dustin come from Virginia originally but is located in Colorado now working as a personal trainer.   He was always willing to help out the team and is very much connected.  It will be fun to watch him develop as an athlete.
Alex Harrison:  This is Alex’s 1st year in the sport. Alex was another one of the new
athletes to the bobsled team coming from a very athletic career in just about everything!   He has a lot of power and speed which is a perfect combo for bobsled. He  will complete his PhD in August 2015 in Sports Physiology and performance.  Alex seemed to find a good combo with Nick Cunningham towards the end of the season.   He got the penthouse suite in Igls at the Sport Hotel due to illness of his roommate.   I have to say Alex, I was a bit envious as it was pretty awesome in that suite! Alex is from Washington.
Jimmy Reed: This is Jimmy’s first year in the sport.  I met Jimmy at Lake Placid and the one thing that stands out about Jimmy is his smile!   Though he can get great intense focus,  It is not long after competition that he smiles!  Though born in Indiana, he grew up at Garmisch Army Base in Garmisch Germany.   He is such a kid at heart and that is what makes him fun.  I was slightly jealous of him, Steve Holcomb and Dustin Greenwood when they went skiing in France on a track closed training day.  He just looked SO happy!   The coolest thing is that while in Austria, Jimmy’s parent’s and a convoy of American’s from the base drove in a snow storm to support Jimmy and the USA team.  It was so gratifying to see the US Flag waved so proudly in the stands! Not to mention the tailgate they put on in the parking lot!   Not certain the European’s knew what to do with that! I got to meet Jimmy’s dad too, which is where his smile comes from!
Carlo Valdes:  This is Carlo’s first year in the sport. I cannot say enough of this young man.   He young in age but wise beyond his years.  Talk about polite.  The med staff could not get over how respectful he was when he had to miss an appointment, he would take the time to come and cancel, apologize and politely ask to take a later spot after his work on the sleds was done.  It was appreciated!  I worked with him in Lake Placid and got to see that the intensity and dedication to athletics would take him far in this sport.  He earned the spot on USA 1 in both 2 man and 4 person.  He has some raw talent that over the next few years will be refined as long as he continues his focus and intensity.   I look forward to working with him again!  He is from California and knows more about Clash of Clans than ANY ONE I have every met!
Aaron “Surf” Victorian:  This is Aaron’s first year the sport.  I met him in Lake Placid and he did a great job in push champs and was a promising athlete for this year’s bobsled team.  He is a was polite each time we interacted.
Casey Wickline:   This is Casey’s first year in bobsled.   I really enjoyed Casey as he is a full time firefighter in South Carolina.  With my family in the same career, I was able to talk to Casey very easily.   He loves bobsled, but loves his career in firefighting just as much (But not as much as  Jesus and his wife!).I loved hearing about his family and how he was brought up and the sports that he played.  His Fire Department in Greenville South Carolina is super supportive of him and this endeavor!  He had a great southern accent that I loved listening to him talk.  He is such a great guy to talk with.  Though he was cracking me up as the food was not  exactly up to what he would have liked. He just loves home cooking so much.  What always came to mind when he was talking about food was “you can take the guy out of the south, but you cannot take the south out of the guy!” I  hope next year Casey you can find more food that you can enjoy trying!
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation is always recruiting for new athletes. Some of these guys may or may not be on the team the next year.  I have to thank each and everyone  of them for the experience of working with high performance athletes.  I thank you for the laughs, the opportunity to get you to your potential, to help educate you about your bodies and for making this experience very unique.  It has been a fun ride!