“We are the Jamaican bobsled team”

Z and I were bantering to and fro the other day on an important topic, what sports were we going train my kids to partake in? The usual choices got thrown out but than Z got an epiphany and said it was clear as day. Z said he was going to turn them into shit brickhouses of pushing strength and speed, he was going to turn them into the engines for a living NASCAR. I looked at him perplexed and than he put it on me, Bobsledding.

Most normal folks only interaction with bobsledding was watching “Cool Runnings“. You haven’t seen “Cool Runnings“? It was a Disney movie for Christ’s sake! Anyway, in the movie John Candy creates the famous Jamacian bobsled team. His character’s premise was Jamaica had the best sprinters in the world, he could take some of that talen and transform them into a contender for Olympic Gold. Rasta and cold jokes aside, the rational behind the premise of the movie is totally true. How do I know? Because the good ole U.S.A. has been doing it for years.

Let’s dig into the requirements for a bobsled race. My family is not much of winter sports buffs so I do not have the right experience to discuss the skills needed to battle the inherent danger in riding in a metal sled at speeds in the 150 mph range in a concrete tunnnel filled with ice and possible death which makes up the majority of the race. But, every story has a beginning and the race starts with “the push”, something easier to discuss.

A couple of facts to chew on when considering the push. An empty 2 man sled weighs around 463 lbs, a 4 man sled around 860lbs. You have to push your bobsled around 50m, jump into it on the fly, all while trying not to fall on your ass because of the ice. You do have grooves in the ice so you don’t have to worry too much about steering the thing. Basically, any of y’all who do not like the prowler would probably not like the first part of the bobsled race.

With the push being an important aspect, bobsledding has traditionally seen athletes cross over from track and field to try their luck out. Well America likes to think outside the box. You need strong, explosive fast, athletes over a short distance and time to team up with a driver with nerves of steel. Now where we could find such athletes?

That is winning 4 man bobsled team from the 2010 Winter Olympics. They are some big ole boys. The pushers include a decathlete from Univeristy of Florida, a HS football star who decided to serve his country in the Air Force, and a starting linebacker at Nebraska. Their stats, 6’2″ 216, 6’2″ 235, 6’1 220 and I am not sure if they are carrying a lot of unnecssary weight (the driver Steve Holcomb carries a little more but since he is the guy who keeps everyone alive he’s cool). Big, fast, powerful human beings, as Z claimed, literally a human engine. And how do these men train. Curt Tomasevicz puts it in eloquent Midwest terms:

“To break it down even further, our lifting workouts are probably 80% lower body work. My two favorite words are “squats” and “cleans”. These two lifts make a bobsledder. Some of our workouts in the past few years have included up to 180 repetitions of squats. A wise strength coach once said that “Squats can cure cancer.” Maybe that’s a meat-head comment, but that is the type of mindset we must have to endure the grueling offseason workouts. I’ve been known to lose my lunch a few times throughout the summer due to the training exertion. I love being in the weight room testing my body’s limits every day. I may not be one of the fastest guys on the team, but I take pride in being one of the strongest”

And these men where not the first, countless other power athletes have become U.S. pushers including a certain Heisman trophy winner who does a bit of everything. I guess this is just another example that it pays to be squat and clean heavy and often. Who knows, maybe in 15 years you will see a Filer boy/girl being the human NOS button for a bobsled on NBC.

Posted by Nickay.

6 Responses to ““We are the Jamaican bobsled team””

  1. Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Rhyme, Get on up, It’s BOBSLED TIME!

  2. Let’s just say if they inherit their Daddy and Nana’s thighs, they will be ahead of the pack.

  3. The Russian dude in this doc (Alexy Voevoda) became a Russian Bobsledder after gaining notoriety as a professional arm wrestler.

    It’s streaming on netflix, btw

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