PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- On the evening of Monday, Feb. 5 – two nights prior to the start of unofficial training at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 – U.S. bobsled pilot Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) was admitted to the hospital with acute appendicitis.
Olsen underwent a successful laparoscopic appendectomy in Gangneung, and the team is hopeful that Olsen will recover and be cleared to compete. The two-man competition will take place Feb. 18-19, and four-man races are Feb. 24-25.
“We are hoping Justin will recover quickly enough to compete in the two-man race,” said USA Bobsled and Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele. “The timing is unfortunate and we are heartbroken for Justin, but he’s shown us over the years that he’s capable of overcoming adversity and coming out on top. We know he’s going to do what he can within his power to be at the starting line on race day. There’s no question he’s mentally ready, but we are looking at our options in case he physically can’t compete.”
The USA Bobsled & Skeleton Selection Committee is discussing options available should Olsen not be able to race. Updates will be released as they are available.
Olsen is one of three pilots to earn a spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Bobsled Team. This is his third Olympic selection, and his first in the front seat of the sled. Olsen was a member of Steven Holcomb’s four-man gold medal winning team at the 2010 Vancouver Games, and competed as one of Nick Cunningham’s crew in the 2014 Sochi Games four-man event. Olsen began driving after Sochi, making this his first Olympic Team selection as a pilot.