USA Bobsled & Skeleton starts combine process

PARK CITY, Utah — Just a few months after the closing ceremonies of the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, USA Bobsled & Skeleton is set to recruit its next batch of Olympic hopefuls this summer. The Utah Olympic Park will host the first of eight USABS combines on June 2 at Park City High School in Park City, Utah.

Utah native and current bobsled coach Shauna Rohbock launched her legendary bobsled career at the Park City combine, and currently is a coach for the developmental and national bobsled teams. She was also recently named to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.

But for Rohbock, a former Brigham Young University soccer powerhouse, becoming a bobsled pilot was never a thought until her coach encouraged the team to try out at an upcoming combine in Park City. With the 2002 Games being held in Salt Lake City and the women’s bobsled event making its Olympic debut, then-pilot Bonny Warner toured colleges in the Utah area, meeting with coaches to recruit women for the Park City combine.

“I was like, that would be kind of cool if I did make it,” Rohbock said. “I’d be in my home state, home country, for the Olympics.”

Since being recruited in 1999, Rohbock has represented the United States in two Olympics, taking silver in 2006 with Valerie Fleming, and winning gold in four World Cup races, including one at her home track in Park City.

The combine hosts athletes from a wide range of athletic backgrounds, such as football, rowing, track and softball. But like Rohbock, athletes will find the transition from their sport to the combine easier than expected.

“It’s a speed and power sport, so essentially most of these athletes have been training their whole entire life for bobsled, they just don’t even know it,” she said.

It is the transition athletes make to actual sport itself to which prospective athletes will need to adjust, she said.

“Just remember that the combine is one part of it and there’s a whole other aspect to the sport, which is actually the sport, which is pushing.”