By Katie Lange
Defense Media Activity
Athletes draw inspiration from all sorts of places, as do service members. So it’s fitting that an Army Green Beret was inspired to become a bobsledder by another military bobsledder – and now they’re both on the same team heading for Pyeongchang.
Sgt. 1st Class Nate Weber, 31, joined the Army in 2005 after watching the attacks of 9/11 unfold when he was in high school. He joined the 10th Special Forces Group as a medic in 2010, and it was during his Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, that the idea of bobsledding first came to him.
Weber was at a friend’s barracks when he came across a Men’s Health magazine that profiled New York Army National Guard Sgt. Justin Olsen, who was part of the bobsled team that won Olympic gold in that year’s Vancouver Games.
“I thought to myself, ‘If this guy can make the Olympic team and win a gold medal in three years, I bet I can at least make the Olympic team,’” he said.
That idea promptly moved to the back of his mind – for about two years – until someone reminded him of it. That’s when he decided to put his money where his mouth was.
“I walked into our training staff, and I asked them to write me a program and start training me,” he said.
Within two years, Weber was at the Sochi Olympic trials. He narrowly missed making the team, but he made sure to keep up with his training for the future – a task that wasn’t easy. Weber was deployed every year leading up to this coming Olympics. But he kept up with it as best he could.
“It’s been hard to maintain that elite level,” Weber said. “Training on deployment while living in a tent and eating canned chicken and tuna for three meals a day is not the same as the guys who are getting fed and taken care of at the Olympic training center.”
Thankfully, he had some time in the states this summer ahead of the Olympic trials and was able to reach his true potential. He made the team!
Weber said he didn’t think he would have been successful without getting his Green Beret.
“A big part of that is the staff we have here – the strength coaches, the nutritionists and physiotherapists that we have working with us,” Weber said. “But on the other side of that, too, just the work ethic you have to have in the Army and being a self-starter and self-motivated. I think that has played a really big part in why I’ve been successful.”
In Pyeongchang, Weber will be in a sled with Olsen – his inspiration – and Army Capt. Chris Fogt for the four-man races. We wish them all the best of luck!
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