While the rest of us hibernate, these 11 American Olympians are braving the ice and snow in pursuit of a medal at the Sochi Games. They took a breather to talk to Hemispheres.
Author Jacqueline Detwiler Photography Sasha Nialla
Have you always been into bobsledding?
Not at first. I was a dancer when I was younger, and I tried out for The Lion King on Broadway. I used to dance 40 hours a week. And then I switched over to track and field and gymnastics in high school, and then I got recruited into Division I sports.
Wow. AND you’re getting two master’s degrees?
Yep. My first master’s is in exercise science and performance enhancement, and for my second I’m doing my MBA with a focus in marketing. I’ve always had an interest in graphic design and art and creativity and helping to promote things. With bobsled, you kind of have to market yourself that way.
Speaking of bobsledding, you’re a new pilot. How is that different from riding in the brakeman position?
As a pilot, you’re the team captain; you memorize and navigate every track. Your job is not only to push the sled but to guide it down. There are certain things that are your responsibility and not the brakeman’s. … We have a lot of stresses—it’s more mentally taxing than physically taxing, so a good veteran brakeman will try to take the brunt of that.