Jamie Greubel Poser is a U.S. bobsled pilot who won bronze at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games with brakeman Aja Evans, as well as numerous world cup medals, including gold in 2014 in Igls, Austria. Following the Games, she married German bobsledder Christian Poser. Greubel Poser will take Team USA fans behind the scenes into the life of an elite bobsledder during the 2015-16 season.
I’ve got baggage.
I mean literal baggage. OK, maybe a little of the other kind too, but who doesn’t?!
It’s that time of year again, and the U.S. bobsled team is gearing up for another world cup season! This means lots of travel, and even more packing and unpacking.
Unlike most teams, the equipment we need in order to compete is very large and extremely heavy. A two-man bobsled weighs around 400 pounds, while a four-man bobsled is about 500 pounds. We travel to every competition with our sleds and the equivalent of a fully operational garage, in order to keep them in race condition. For the European portion of the world cup circuit, we ship our sleds and pick them up in Germany. We are constantly loading and unloading the sleds daily in large vans to go to training and packing up all of our things weekly to travel to each world cup stop.
We have become expert movers and packers. Give us a sled and a mound of oddly-shaped equipment, a crate or a truck, and in 30 minutes we will have it sorted, packed and ready to go!
|A typical scene during crate loading and unloading, although the weather is not always so nice. This is a winter sport.
In addition to the team’s six sleds, 20-plus pairs of different runners (the blades on the bottom of the sled), sleds stands, runner sanding stands and tools, we travel with our own lifting equipment. Since it is not guaranteed that we will be able to find a weight room everywhere we go – and lifting is a vital part of our training – we have to be prepared with our own equipment. This includes a squat rack, three barbells and enough weight for some very strong athletes. It’s normally about 300 kilos (660 pounds) in weight plates that we unpack, use and repack every week!
|A normal “garage” for us on tour. This is a conference room in a hotel in Germany. Everything in the room is part of the equipment that we travel with.|
It does not matter where we are, we always find a way to turn any space into a weight room and a garage. Conference room, parking spot, locker room, we’ll make it work!
|Left to right: Locker room ski rack turned squat rack. Parking garage turned gym and garage.
|Left to right: Conference room lifting area. No space to lift, we will just go outside.
With new athletes on the team each year, it is important that we teach them everything we know, and that we do so by the time our first race rolls around so we are a well-oiled machine!
It’s hard to believe the season is already here. We trained hard all summer and fall and we’re all so excited to get the season started!
We begin our world cup season this week in Altenberg, Germany. Check out the USA Bobsled and Skeleton website to follow the action this season as we proudly represent Team USA!
|Some of the 2015-16 U.S. women’s world cup team unloading crates in Park City, Utah. Left to right: Elana Meyers Taylor, Kehri Jones, Cherrelle Garrett, Jamie Greubel Poser, Lauren Gibbs, Terra Evans.|