Nathan Crumpton earned his first National Team and World Cup circuit berths this year.
Colorado Springs, Colo. (June 21, 2016) - Nathan Crumpton had the snow and ice. He was just missing the thrill of competition.
The former Princeton University track and field athlete had moved to Colorado for the skiing and snowboarding opportunities. But he craved the feeling of crossing the finish line first — something neither sport provided.
“Skiing and snowboarding were great fun, but I was doing it just for fun and for myself; there was no competitive angle to it,” he said. “I had started skiing and snowboarding too late in my career to do it competitively at an elite level.”
After watching the 2010 Olympics though, he found skeleton and with it, his competitive drive. He attended a combine in Fort Collins, Colo., and quickly became one of the top skeleton athletes in the world. Now, Colorado Springs, just a short distance from Fort Collins, will host USA Bobsled & Skeleton’s third combine of the summer. The physical evaluation will take place on June 26 at Colorado College.
“There are a lot of qualities that are needed to make it to the elite level,” former Olympic bobsledder Curt Tomesevicz, who lived in Colorado on-and-off during his storied career, said. “One of the biggest differences I've seen in young athletes coming in is that they assume it is an easy task — pushing a sled. But the best in the world are always looking to get better and learn from others. They are humble and patient and willing to take criticism in order to get better.”
Bobsled and skeleton athletes come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including track and field, football, rowing, bodybuilding, softball and field hockey. But Crumpton, who earned his first World Cup circuit berth this past season, says anyone can succeed in the sport if they have the right mindset.
“There's a subtlety to it that took me a long time to grasp, and I'm still learning new things all the time,” he said. “It takes time, patience, and a willingness to realize, ‘I really don't know what I'm doing right now, but I better give it a try,’ in order to get better.”
Tomasevicz, who won the gold medal in the four-man event at the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010, said bobsled taught him lessons that help him today in his career as a motivational speaker and teacher. He also serves on the USABS Board of Directors.
“ I was big into setting goals and working to see the goals through,” he said. “There are many aspects to the sport that I love. I love competing and putting forward my very best and being tested against the best in the country and in the world. The opportunity to wear USA is a truly great honor.”
The combine will take place at the end of the annual, weeklong National Team Camp. Any athlete wishing to participate in the Colorado Springs combine must pre-register. For more information, please click here.
Kristen Gowdy, USABS Media and Marketing Assistant, email@example.com, (719) 722-0522