USA Bobsled & Skeleton is searching the nation for additional elite 2018 prospects in a series of combine events across the United States.
"Historically, our open combine test format has been really successful finding those athletes who can help build our programs long term and the top recruits can often have an immediate impact on our program," said USA Bobsled Assistant Coach Mike Dionne. "This summer's recruiting will focus heavily on those top recruits. We are looking for those special athletes who believe they have what it takes to represent their country at the highest level and have dreams of competing for Olympic medals."
USA Bobsled & Skeleton will host nine events across the country from June through August. Combine test locations and dates are:
Friday, June 10: Park City, Utah
Saturday, June 18: Columbia, S.C.
Saturday, June 26: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Saturday, July 9: Bradenton, Fla.
Saturday, July 9: Lake Placid, N.Y.
Saturday, July 9: Gaithersburg, Md.
Saturday, July 16: Geneva, Ohio
Sunday, July 24: San Francisco, Calif.
Monday, August 1: Houston, Texas
USA Bobsled & Skeleton athletes have won 32 medals in the Winter Olympic Games and dozens more in World Cup and World Championship competitions. Historically, the team's medalists have been mined from a variety of sports such as track and field, football, soccer, softball and field hockey.
Nearly all national team members were multi-sport athletes who were successful in college athletic programs. The skills that top bobsled and skeleton athletes built while excelling in other sports provided the raw talent necessary to quickly learn the sports of bobsled and skeleton.
For example, three-time track and field Olympian, 4x100-meter gold medalist and 100-meter dash silver medalist Lauryn Williams was figuring out what life looked like after retiring in 2013 when she discovered the sport of bobsled. Williams attended a rookie camp in August of that year and after just a few days of pushing she was on the medal stand at USA Bobsled National Push Championships. Just a few months later, Williams was named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic bobsled team and she became only the fifth person ever to win a medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics after earning silver in women's bobsled.
Williams accomplished the feat with driver Elana Meyers Taylor, who played shortstop and pitched on George Washington University's softball team and was named to the ECAC Division I All-Star team in July 2007 before becoming a two-time Olympic medalist in bobsled. Lolo Jones was the second track and field Olympian on the 2014 Olympic Bobsled team and every push athlete on the men's or women's team competed in either football, track and field or both at the collegiate level.
On the men's side, former Michigan and Rice player Sam McGuffie was named to the USA Bobsled National Team in his rookie season last year. McGuffie was a highly pursued 4-star running back recruit out of Texas in 2008 and originally enrolled at Michigan before he transferred to Rice where he starred with 2,299 all-purpose yards and 102 receptions. Since leaving Rice in 2013 and before finding bobsled in 2015, McGuffie has been a practice squad member with the Raiders, Cardinals and Patriots and was most recently on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. McGuffie isn't the first elite football athlete to transition to bobsled. He follows in the footsteps of greats like Willie Gault, who was a member of the Bears team that won Super Bowl XX and an Olympic caliber track and field athlete before he made his Winter Olympic debut at the 1988 Calgary Games.
Other notable football and track and field athletes that made a successful transition to bobsled include Willie Davenport, Edwin Moses, Hershel Walker and Greg Harrell.
If you're looking to take your athletic career to the next level, register for a USA Bobsled & Skeleton combine test event now.
About USA Bobsled & Skeleton: USA Bobsled & Skeleton, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, Park City Lodging, Inc., Classroom Champions, Aspen Institute's Project Play, EDAS/Ripxx, Tesa Tape, UberSense, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Protostar, Machintek and deBotech, Carpenter and PVS International. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.