COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Sisters Michelle and Rachel Bauer are accustomed to doing pretty much everything together, and trying out to become the Next Olympic Hopeful was no different.
“Growing up we played a lot of sports together,” Rachel said. “We do track together. In college, we compete against each other. We have a lot of experience competing together and against each other.”
The Bauers were both selected as finalists for “Milk Life presents, Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful,” a talent-identification program aimed at finding athletes with backgrounds in any sports whose skills could transfer to eight Olympic sports. The sports for Season 2 are bobsled, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling, rowing, rugby, skeleton and weightlifting. One winner was selected for each sport, and the winners will attend camps with their sport in hopes of making the national team.
Watch the journey in a two-part broadcast airing Nov. 24 from 9-10 p.m. ET on NBCSN and Nov. 25 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
They were two of the 89 finalists who spent five days at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in June. Over 3,500 athletes applied.
Rachel, 20, attended the event last year, and encouraged her younger sister, Michelle, 19, to apply with her this year.
Michelle admitted she was unsure about applying and potentially competing against her older sister, but was excited for the opportunity when she found out they both were selected to attend the camp together.
“It was exciting,” Michelle said. “I’m the younger sister always looking up to the older sister, and for once I get to follow right in her footsteps.”
Michelle and Rachel are both collegiate track and field athletes, but at rival Florida colleges. Michelle competes in long-distance events for NOVA Southeastern University and Rachel competes in pole vault and heptathlon at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
In preparation for the camp, the sisters trained quite differently from one another. In fact, Rachel trained on a completely different continent.
Rachel spent most of her summer abroad in Germany for school, which meant Michelle was left to train without the guidance of her older sister.
“I mostly just ran,” Michelle said. “[Rachel] is more of the weightlifter, and anything non-cardio related. With her being away in Germany, I was like, what do I do. So, I mostly just stuck to running.”
While Michelle was back in the States, Rachel found new and innovative ways to train in Germany.
“One of my teammates was there so we would run together in the morning since we didn’t have access to a gym,” said Rachel. “We would also do pull-ups on the subway.”
Rachel decided to end her trip early to come back and compete with her sister at Scouting Camp. They were placed in separate groups for testing, though.
“I think there is a little rivalry,” said Michelle. “We are in separate groups so I’ve been keeping an eye on her and how she’s been doing.”
The Bauer sisters are competitive with one another, but say that’s what keeps things fun.
“I think it brings us closer together,” said Michelle. “If we both won, that’d be amazing because we would continue competing together.”
As collegiate athletes, Michelle and Rachel say being selected to try out for a national team is the goal.
“I think it’s every athlete’s dream to make to the Olympics, but it’s not really real until you get here,” Rachel said of being at the Olympic Training Center.