LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (June 17, 2022) – USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS) is proud to announce Nicole Brungardt (Norfolk, Neb.), Emily Renna (Fairport, N.Y.), Kyle Wilcox (Tampa, Fla.) and Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) as the athlete award recipients for the 2021-2022 season. The award recipients were nominated by their peers for exemplifying one the organization’s values of teamwork, commitment, and integrity.
“USA Bobsled/Skeleton is fortunate to have an amazing group of athletes who are involved in the sports,” said USABS Chief Executive Officer Aron McGuire. “It’s important for the organization to not only recognize success on the track, but also recognize the values that are a driving part of that success. Each of the award winners this year demonstrated our core values and are an integral part of this team.”
The award for teamwork was presented to women's bobsledders Brungardt and Renna, who traveled to China prior to the start of the season to support the team during international training on the 2022 Olympic track in Beijing, China. Teammates said that Brungardt and Renna put the team’s needs ahead of their own every day, working nonstop for a month to help the women’s bobsled program prepare for the Olympic Games. Brungardt and Renna both battled motion sickness and still got back in the sled time and time again. They were positive and easygoing through uncertain and hard times at the start of the season.
“I'm honored to receive this award, especially alongside my teammate and friend, Nicole,” Renna said. “Despite the motion sickness challenges we faced, we both thoroughly enjoyed our time in China by getting to slide on the Olympic track, and helping the pilots learn and prepare for the games.”
“It was a true honor to be a part of this team and represent the USA,” Brungardt said. “I was extremely thankful for every second, so I was willing to do whatever I needed to for the team– even when it included holding back puking in the sled until we got to the bottom, just to go to the top and get back in. For the rest of my life, I will cherish these last five years. They were some of the hardest, but also by far some of the greatest. I want to say thank you to USABS and my teammates, it was a heck of a ride, literally.”
Wilcox was described as the MVP for the team this year, and he was chosen as the athlete who most exemplified the value of commitment. Wilcox traveled to China for international training to help the women's and men's bobsled teams learn the track and maximize the team's opportunity ahead of the games. Teammates said he is always the first person to put the team’s needs ahead of his own. He traveled directly from China to the U.S. to compete in the North American Cup in order to help his team qualify for the Olympics. When he was asked to compete with the World Cup team for the second half of the season, and then asked to fly to China as a possible alternate for the Olympics at the last minute without an accreditation, he flew across the world for the team without any complaints. One nomination for Wilcox said that he “repeatedly chooses this team and everyone else ahead of his own needs…He has a positive outlook and he raises the bar through his work ethic, and attitude to the team.”
“Thank you to my teammates for recognizing a quality I seek in others– commitment to be and do better,” Wilcox said.
The award for integrity went to men's bobsled pilot Bascue, who openly shares information with other pilots. He wants to compete at his best, and compete with everyone at their best. One nomination said that Bascue will never hurt a competitor or lose his integrity in his pursuit of competitive excellence. After the 2022 U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team was announced, Bascue congratulated everyone and sent all of his track notes for the Olympic track to the pilots who were named to the team. He made a group chat with the team, and said he was happy to help any way he can. Bascue’s actions this season, as well as every season, exemplifies integrity.
“I am so honored to be nominated and voted for this award by my teammates,” Bascue said. “It is really important to me that I succeed in the sport through my own ability and performance, not for any other reason. That has always been incredibly important to me. On top of that, I truly care about every single one of my teammates and all I ever want is for everyone to compete at their best, so I will always help any way that I can. I don’t feel this way or act the way I do for awards, it’s just the core of who I strive to be as an athlete, teammate, friend, and person. That being said, I am incredibly grateful and honored to have been voted for this by my teammates, and it is one of my favorite awards to date in my bobsled career.”
For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About USA Bobsled/Skeleton
USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com. Individuals interested in becoming a bobsled or skeleton athlete can visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.