Wabash Valley Ties To Olympic Bobsledding

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Bruce Rosselli is a big name in the Valley. Not only is he a part owner of the Rex baseball team, but he’s also a former Winter Olympic Athlete.

“Over the span of 5 Olympics and I don’t know how many World Championships that would be but when you make the World Championships it’s the same as making the Olympic team,” said Rosselli.

The Midwest isn’t known for producing bobsledding athletes, and Rosselli was reminded of that all throughout his career.

“Going back to my very first run at the Olympic Center. Being a kid from Terre Haute Indiana getting to go to the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid New York thinking should I even be here,” Rosselli said.

But Rosselli did belong there, making it through tryouts earning a trip to the Olympic Training Center in 1985

“In 1985 I was a decathlete training under John McNichols here at Indiana State and heard about making the Olympic Bobsled team because they wanted to take athletes my size who could do multiple events, push a sled that weights 500 pounds on Ice quickly and agile enough to jump into it.”

On top of three trips to the Winter Olympics, Rosselli won National Championships as a driver in 1990, 1992, and 1996 while setting multiple world track records and was part of the World Championship team in 1993 and 1996. One thing that means more than the medals for Rosselli though, is all the accomplishments and changes that still effect the sport to this day

“What I think I probably is most proud of is that I was asked to be the first one down the track in Salt Lake City when it was built. No one had ever been down and I was asked to open up the Lake Placid track in Lake Placid New York testing the ice and seeing how this computer design track will preform and so no one can take that away from me.” Bruce Rosselli said proudly in an interview with WTWO.

Both of those tracks are still used today, helping team USA prepare. It’s not just the tracks still around but the sleds Rosselli helped introduce and tested.

“Geoff Bodine, Daytona 500 NASCAR winner asked me about taking a ride and getting involved. That turned into the Bodine Sleds which if we didn’t have those right now we would not be winning the medals we are winning right now,” said Rosselli

So when you watch the Bobsled event,you’ll see sleds inspired by Terre Haute’s own Bruce Rosselli.

“I enjoyed that going fast. And just like any person in racing they love that speed factor and you always want to go faster.”

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