San Diego Athletes Audition For U.S. Bobsled Team

United States Olympic Team looking for fresh talent

San Diego is not where you typically find bobsled athletes. But that did not stop the United States Olympic team from looking.

On Saturday morning the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton team held a special bobsled combine at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.

“You’ve got to be explosive, you’ve got to be fast,” said Michael Dionne, one of the coaches with USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. “That’s what we try to do initially in these combines is identify that talent that has speed and explosiveness.”

Those are the same kinds of traits you find in football players and track & field athletes and America’s Finest City has those in spades. A couple of dozen local athletes went through a series of drills, including a shot-put event to test explosiveness and several sprints to determine their speed. All the drills were graded by USABS coaches.

“What we have is a standard of 500 points,” said Dionne. “We’re looking for that and better. After all these combines we’re going to take our top finishers and invite them to Lake Placid, NY, for a rookie camp in August.”

USABS hopes the rookie camp starts the process of turning the fresh athletes in to Olympic-caliber bobsled and skeleton athletes. The Chula Vista event was the second of nine combines planned for across the country. The athletes who earned enough points should know by next month if they get a shot at a new career as a potential Winter Olympian.

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