"You have to watch out for Curve
13," SGT Rohbock said. "They call it the ‘50/50 curve.’ It
pretty much is 50/50. You’re either on four runners on the
end or you’re over. I crashed there this year and it’s not a
"It’s such high speed, she
continued, "I wish people knew just how fast it was. The TV
does not tell you how fast the sleds are going. My hands are
trying to move as fast as they can at the bottom. Sometimes
I feel like it’s going to get to the point where it is
beyond your physical ability to drive that fast, to drive
the next curve, for your brain to catch up with your hands.
So definitely the track is fast and it’s dangerous, but
everyone has to go down the track."
Another aspect Winter Olympians
have to compete with is the elements. The team’s skintight
Under Armour uniforms do not offer much protection from the
cold. Rohbock found this to be especially true at this
season’s runs at Altenberg, Germany. She said the
temperatures dropped well below zero.
Photo by Ileen Kennedy
A U.S. men's four-man
pushes off on the icy
track in Park City.
"Most times there’s just so much
adrenaline, you don’t even realize how cold it is, but when
it’s minus 20 and you tear your pants and jacket off at the
top and the cold air hits you, it’s cold. Sometimes too when
it’s that cold, I don’t usually go down with gloves. I can
really feel it on my hands and I’m like this course needs to
end because my hands are so cold."
At colder temperatures the track’s
ice will be harder, which Rohbock said will give the pilots
less control. She said she would not mind a warm day, with
maybe a light rain so they will have a little more control
Rohbock also had some advice for
the viewers at home who will be cheering for her. She said
the bobsled run is more than just those first five seconds
at the start. It is important to watch for "speed killers."
Watch for the sleds that are early coming into a turn
because those will tend to jump high on the track where
there are less grooves and less track ice. Also, if a sled
is late for a turn, that could cause a big direction change.
And obviously, "if you’re hitting the walls, that’s a bad
One event that viewers are sure to
watch is the opening ceremonies on February 12. Rohbock said
the feeling of entering the stadium behind the United States
flag is "pretty much indescribable. The energy is so amazing
in the stadium. It’s an awesome experience."
Photo by Ileen Kennedy
SGT Shauna Robhock,
right, is interviewed for U.S. military
Feb. 4 during the U.S. Bobsled team's media day.
She said standing on the medal
podium is equally indescribable.
"I hope this time it’ll be our
flag being raised and our national anthem being played.
It’ll be awesome."
When asked if that does happen, if
she does bring home the gold, will the tears flow? She
responded that tears will flow "for sure."
Rohbock plans to stay in Vancouver
for the entire Olympics and take in as many events as she
can. She said there is a great sense of camaraderie among
the bobsled and skeleton teams this year, which they hope
can turn into great runs, great results and great chances to
And as they strive and slide for
the gold the USA Bobsled team will definitely have the
backing of the nation and its National Guard.