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Former Gold Medalist On How To Make An Olympic Team

ByScotty Jenkins

Published on Thu Jul 08 2021

|

3 min read

Former Gold Medalist On How To Make An Olympic Team

The long awaited 2020 Summer Olympic Games will begin in Tokyo a year late. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that postponed the global event, the 32nd Olympiad will actually take place in July and August of 2021.

But, no matter when the games are held, one thing is for certain: The world's athletes will be watching... and dreaming about their chance to compete.

On July 23rd, athletes from over 200 nations will parade around the Japan National Stadium in the Opening Ceremonies of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Over the following three weeks, 11,000-plus athletes will compete in 33 events, hoping to become their country's next Olympic medalist.

Though many athletes only qualify for a single Olympics, the small fraternity of athletes who can claim to be Olympians spans centuries. Whether it is winter or summer or they are competing in snow or extreme heat, just moments of competition in an Olympic event can be the culmination of a lifetime of hard work.

We caught up with former Team USA Bobsled Athlete and Winter Olympic gold medalist, Curt Tomasevicz, to ask him what the journey to the Olympics is like for an American athlete.


When should most athletes start looking for opportunities to compete for Team USA?

Speaker 1: (00:04)
We are looking for athletes want to come out of high school, but college is an opportunity that most athletes don't want to pass up and we can't blame them for that. But, developing and, as you're an older teenager into your early twenties, it's a really important time for bobsledding.

(00:23)
And, again, I think even though our sports seems very one dimensional. Sprint straight. No lateral movements. And you only have to go for about four or five seconds. It seems like a very simple sport to train for.

(00:37)
But I would argue that our best athletes in the sport come from a wide range of background competing in a lot of sports. We have a lot of decathletes. If they do come from track, you know, so they, uh, have a very athletic ability.

Speaker 1: (00:54)
It's not just focused on one single sprint. Uh, and that's it. So, yeah, I, I tell athletes when they want to get into bobsled, you know, if you're going to train, work on being able to jump high. And I know it's very general, but being explosive is important for nearly every sport.

(01:11)
Almost every sport is some type of plyometrics, uh, to train. And, uh, I think that's a good background to have is to be very explosive. That's in almost every sport. So continue to focus on those explosive movements.


As you were training and even when you finally got to the Olympics, were you ever doubting yourself?

Speaker 1: (00:00)
[inaudible] there was a lot of those moments.

Speaker 2: (00:06)
Um, again, when I first started training with Amanda, I didn't even have the goal of trying out or even making the team and, you know, the, the goals that I had along the way, my entire career continued to change and continue to be updated, I guess, because of the situation I was in. So you're not, yeah. Once I decided to try out for the team, you know, I flew up to Calgary to, to meet up with the men's team where they were training at that time. And I remember getting off the plane thinking, you know, I may meet this coach. He may laugh at me and I'll be on the plane headed back tomorrow. I may meet this coach and he's gonna think I'm the greatest athlete ever, and we're going to win gold medals. And I kind of assumed it would be somewhere in between, but, uh, yeah, that was the approach I had going in. And then, you know, I'd have a little success while that formed my next goal. And, you know, I meet that goal and well that developed into the next goal. And of course, you know, over 10 years kind of, uh, made a career out of changing my goals, but, you know, always having, uh, something to strive for.


What is the mindset that athletes need if they want to compete on the international level?

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