Soldiers Earn Spots on U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team
By Tim Hipps
U.S. Army Installation Management Command
SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 22, 2014 Five soldiers in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program have been selected for the U.S. Olympic men's bobsled team that will compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Sgt. Nick Cunningham of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program jumps into the sled to drive Olympic gold medalist and WCAP teammate Sgt. Justin Olsen, Johnny Quinn and Abe Morlu to 16th place in the four-man bobsled event at the International Bobsled & Skeleton Federation's 2013 World Cup stop, Dec. 7, 2013, at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. U.S. Army photo by Tim Hipps
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Capt. Chris Fogt, Sgt. Justin Olsen, Sgt. Nick Cunningham, Sgt. Dallas Robinson and Team USA assistant coach 1st Lt. Michael Kohn will represent the U.S. Army in Russia. With the exception of Robinson, everyone in the group has previously competed in the Olympics.
They will be joined by former WCAP, bobsledder Steven Holcomb, the reigning Olympic champion driver in the four-man event. Therefore, the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program had a hand in helping to produce about half of the U.S. Olympic men's bobsled squad.
Holcomb, who spent seven years in WCAP, will drive USA-1 with brakeman Fogt and civilians Curt Tomasevicz and Steve Langton aboard. Holcomb also will drive USA-1 in the two-man event.
Cunningham will drive USA-2 with WCAP teammates Olsen, Robinson and civilian Johnny Quinn aboard. Olsen was a member of Holcomb's four-man squad that struck gold at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Whistler, British Columbia.
Cunningham and Corey Butner also will pilot U.S. sleds in the two-man event. The two-man bobsled brakemen will be selected from the pool of six push athletes named to the four-man squads.
A number of components were considered when selecting the 2014 U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team push athletes, including combine test and U.S. National Push Championship results, U.S. National Team Trials finishes, driver input, proven international experience with a history of results and team combinations working well together, trend of push times, start rank and velocity, and current season results.
Nations were allocated Olympic quotas based on rank in international points following seven competitions during the 2013-2014 season. The United States was one of three nations that qualified to enter the maximum of three teams in men's two-man bobsled competition, and one of only two nations to qualify the maximum of three sleds in the women's race. The United States was not one of the top three nations in four-man bobsled standings and is limited to two crews.
The Olympic bobsled events are scheduled for a four-heat format over two days of racing. The men's two-man bobsled competition is slated for Feb. 16-17, followed by women's bobsled Feb. 18-19. The men's four-man bobsled competition will be one of the last events of the Olympic Games, set for Feb. 22-23.