United States

Texas Bobsledder on Track for Winter Olympics

Texas athlete Sam McGuffie says he tries not to think about the 2018 Olympics Winter Games.

"There's a lot of guys who have already been to the Olympics and stuff, so I don't think it's right for me to just focus on the Olympics. I just need to do my job, and hopefully I get there," McGuffie said.

The strategy is working. The 28-year-old from suburban Houston is a member of the USA Bobsled National Team. McGuffie and sled pilot Codie Bascue recently won a gold medal at a World Cup race in Lake Placid, N.Y.

That puts them in the running to make Team USA for Pyeongchang.

McGuffie started his athletic career as a football and track and field star at Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas. He also played football in college and then spent time in both the NFL and the Canadian Football League.

Bobsled never crossed his mind.

"There's no way. I always thought I would play football or run track, or something like that, but never bobsled," he said.

McGuffie's combination of speed and power made him a perfect fit for the sport. He is a push athlete; one of the team members who rockets the heavy sled off the starting line.

"You only have to run for 30 or 40 yards, and you have to be pretty strong and fast," McGuffie said.

As for the ride, McGuffie says it's anything but smooth.

"It's like being put in a dumpster and pushed off a double-black ski slope," he said.

But he says the reward waiting at the bottom of the course is worth it.

"If you win, after you get out, you see the time pop up, and it says 'one' next to it. And that's where you get the adrenaline from, and it gets you pumped up," he said.

The U.S. bobsled team for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics will be named on Jan. 15, less than a month before the opening ceremony in South Korea.

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