Bremerton’s Bree Schaaf got involved after her brother, Tim
Schaaf, made connections with the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton
Federation. Tim was looking for an outlet after an injury ended his
college football career and he was watching the 2002 Winter
Olympics on television and thought the bobsled looked pretty cool.
Pretty soon he was auditioning at a U.S. tryout camp, and it
before he got his sister interested.
Eight years later, Bree’s an Olympian, a fifth-place finishers
in the women’s bobsled at the Vancouver Olympics.
How do you become an Olympian? Read on. This story for the
United States Olympic Committee lists the people you need to
Where do you go? Who do you call? Where do you
Vancouver, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada– An Olympic
journey begins with a single step. It’s that first one toward
a goal that’s the most important.
For every one of the medals earned by U.S. Olympians in
Vancouver and Whistler, there was that first step on the frozen
ponds of Minnesota, the ice sheets in Wisconsin, the rinks of
Boston and the hills and jumps in Steamboat Springs.
They all asked those first questions about how to be an Olympian
to a parent or a coach. How do I take that first step?
And the answers came.
“So you want to be a bobsledder, Steve (Holcomb)? Do you
know where Lake Placid is located?
“Well, Apolo, You want to learn how to skate? Vancouver is
a pretty good place for a kid to learn.
“OK Lindsey (Vonn), you might want to ski on that little hill in
“Shaun (White), you ought to learn how to spin around a couple
of times, add a few twists and give it a good name, like the double
MacTwist. Dude, that’d be Cool.”
After watching the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and
Whistler and reading about the heroes on the ice and snow, millions
of kids in living rooms and back yards around America are asking
the same questions.
“How do I get involved? How can I get on the United States
If a soldier with six medals in the Army and a degenerative eye
disease can pilot the USA bobsled to a gold medal in the
Olympics, so can you.
`If a young African American skater from Chicago can win two
gold medals in speedskating, you can too.
If a California skateboarder can be the best there has ever been
in snowboarding, you can too.
You can be an Olympian. All it takes is a dream, some
conviction…AND, most importantly, taking that first step.
And it doesn’t matter where you live. There are hockey
players from Simi Valley, Calif., speedskaters from Miami and
Houston, bobsledders from Georgia. All found their way to Vancouver
and the Olympic Games.
In this case, that first step is a phone call or getting online
and checking out a website.
The U.S. Olympic Committee is made up of a variety of
organizations, including Olympic sports federations, also known as
National Governing Bodies. There are eight of these for
Olympic Winter Sports.
These federations would love to get those youngsters involved in
their sports. But, first you have to ask.
For all those kids interested in becoming the next Shani, Apolo,
Shaun, Lindsey, Bode or Steve, take the first step. Get on a
website and find out how to get involved. Make a phone call,
go to the library.
One day you could be on that podium. Or you could just
have fun in your neighborhood. Either way, you’ll be a
For that first step, pick a sport. Pick several sports and
contact them. Here’s a list to help you get started:
U.S. Biathlon Association
49 Pineland Drive, suite 301A
New Gloucester, ME 04260
207 688-6500 or 1-800-BIATHLO (242-8456)
U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
1631 Mesa Ave. Copper building
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
5525 Clem’s Way
Stevens Point, WI 55482
U.S. Figure Skating Association
20 First St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906-3697
1775 Bob Johnson Dr.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
U.S. Luge Association
57 Church St.
Lake Placid, NY 12946-1805
U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA)
1 Victory Lane, P.O. Box 100
Park City, UT 84060
Utah Olympic Oval
5662 South Cougar Lane
P.O. Box 18370
Kearns, UT 84118
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