Hunter Church, Joshua Williamson, Kristopher Horn and Charlie Volker come to a stop as they finish their slide during the four-man Bobsleigh at the Winter Olympic Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 20, 2022 in Yanqing, China.
The power of sport has always appealed to Carsten Vissering.
When he was an All-American swimmer at Southern Cal, Vissering could be found in the weight room as much as the swimming pool. As a swimmer, Vissering was a Pac-12 champion breaststroker who helped a Trojans relay team win an NCAA championship in 2018.
In the weight room, Vissering was a monster. He powered up with 500-pound back squats and 350-pound clean lifts.
“My nickname on the team was the weightlifter who swims,” Vissering said. “It just became a part of my personality. People joked around it. It was just the thing that came to associate myself, how I identified myself. I loved it.”
All that power explains why bobsledding was such a perfect fit for Vissering, a 25-year-old from Bethesda, Maryland, who graduated from USC in 2019. Vissering is expected to make his world championships debut next week in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
“That explosive power is my advantage, just being able to generate force,” said Vissering, who is among several athletes who have made the transition from another sport into bobsledding. “However, there are a lot of speed demons on the team who can smoke me in the 30-yard dash.”
The IBSF World Championships began Thursday with competition in men’s and women’s skeleton. The final skeleton runs are Friday. The two-man bobsled and women’s monobob competitions are Saturday and Sunday, followed by the skeleton mixed-team competition Sunday, Para bobsled Feb. 2-3, women’s bobsled Feb. 3-4, and four-man bobsled Feb. 4-5.
Kaillie Humphries, a four-time Olympian who won a gold medal in women’s monobob at last year’s Winter Games in Beijing, enters St. Moritz as Team USA’s top medal hopeful. The defending world champ in both the monobob and two-woman events holds the top overall women’s ranking on the world cup this season, as well as the No. 1 ranking for monobob.