ARLINGTON, Va. – A
National Guard Soldier earned a silver medal in women’s
bobsledding Feb. 21 during her Olympic debut at the 2006
Winter Games in Torino, Italy.
Utah Army National
Guard Spc. Shauna Rohbock, the driver of the two-woman
USA-1 sled, and brakeman Valerie Fleming completed their
four women’s bobsled runs in 3 minutes, 50.69 seconds.
That was 0.71 seconds behind the gold-medal winning German
team of Sandra Kiriasis and Anja Schneiderheinza. An
Italian team took the bronze.
“I’m ecstatic, and I
hope our four-man team can pull one out, too,” Rohbock
told the Army News Service.
"Shauna not only
brings honor to her home state, but to the thousands who
wear the uniform," said Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr.
"We are proud of her accomplishments."
Rohbock could be
establishing a National Guard tradition: She follows in
the footsteps of Utah National Guard Spc. Jill Bakken
who drove the gold-medal winning sled when women’s
bobsledding was introduced as an Olympic sport during
the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.
"We congratulate Spc.
Rohbock on her silver-medal performance in Torino,” said
Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, the Utah National Guard’s
adjutant general. “We are extremely pleased and proud of
her accomplishments on the bobsled track and her
willingness to serve on the battlefield. Her sense of
duty, persistence and tenacity personify what is best
about all of our Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen in the Utah
Rohbock and Bakken,
an alternate on this year’s U.S. women’s bobsled team,
enlisted together in the Utah Army Guard in 2000. The
team’s head coach is also a National Guard Soldier –
Spc. Bill Tavares, a New York Army Guard infantryman.
Rohbock, 28, recently
re-enlisted, according to Utah Guard spokesman Maj. Hank
“She’s been very
proud to say that she’s part of the military,” Chuck
Rohbock, Shauna’s father, said after she had earned the
silver medal. “She was a Soldier first: She was ready to
Rohbock was called up
for duty in Iraq with the 115th Engineer Group in 2003.
Though her duffle bags were packed and she did
pre-deployment training, a torn rotator cuff prevented
Rohbock from going with her unit.
Chuck Rohbock said
his daughter told him that knowing her fellow Soldiers
were serving in Iraq motivated her to do her best in the
Olympics. “I’ve got to do well because everybody in my
unit has volunteered to go in my place,” she told her
“The Guard –
everything about it, everybody she’s been involved with
– has been so supportive. They’ve been so wonderful,”
Chuck Rohbock said.
“We’re just very
proud of her,” he said. “I felt that she would medal. I
just didn’t know how. Shauna’s never done anything
halfway. She’s always trained hard. She’s always been a
specialist at Joint Forces Headquarters of the Utah
National Guard, Rohbock is a graduate of Mountain View
High School and Brigham Young University.
“Shauna has always
demanded a lot of herself,” said Linda Rohbock Rowland,
Shauna’s aunt. “We are totally full of emotion. We are
thrilled and proud. Sometimes good guys do win.
watched her prepare for this day for the last eight
years. It was heartbreaking when she lost her spot on
the 2002 team, but she is a very focused, persistent and
tenacious person. She has always paid the price in
whatever she has participated in.”
Photo by Jack Gillund, Department of the Army
Utah Army National Guard Spc. Shauna Rohbock drove
the USA-1 sled to second place, and a silver medal,
in women’s bobsledding during the XX Winter Olympics
in Italy on Jan. 21. Rohbock is a member of the
Army’s World Class Athlete Program. Valerie Fleming
was her brakeman.
Rohbock lost her
place as Bakken’s brakeman to Vonetta Flowers for the
2002 games in Utah and watched from the sidelines as
that U.S. team won the gold medal.
prowess is not limited to bobsledding. She played soccer
for BYU, where she was the nation’s highest-scoring
sophomore, and professionally for the San Diego Spirit.
“Being a coach and
involved with athletics all my life, I know what Shauna
has gone through to prepare,” said Fred Rowland,
Shauna’s uncle. “There has definitely been a higher
power involved in her life to help her get where she is
Rohbock grew up in
Orem, Utah, and lives in Park City. Her parents are
Chuck and Myrna Rohbock, and she has five sisters and
NBCOlympics.com contributed to this report.