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Weinstock set for first Olympic experience

The former Brown decathlete is a member of the U.S. bobsled team

When Evan Weinstock entered the world of bobsledding, he was told his role as a pusher of the sled would demand 90 percent athleticism and 10 percent skill.

Whatever the equation, Weinstock proved to be a fast learner in the sport and will represent the U.S. in the four-man and two-man bobsled events in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Competition dates
  • Two-man bobsled, Feb. 18-19.
  • Four-man bobsled, Feb. 23-24.

Weinstock’s climb to national team status began after he graduated in 2014 with a biology degree from Brown, where he was a three-time Ivy League champion in the decathlon and a one-time conference champion in the heptathlon.

Trying to earn a spot on the U.S. bobsled team was always a thought in the back of his mind because he knew former track and field athletes — some of whom were teammates — who tried to take up the sport.

“My training for the decathlon is very similar to the training that is required for bobsled,” Weinstock said. “I’m a big fan of doing power cleans in the weight room. Those lifts help you explode off the line to get the power and the speed you need to get moving as fast as possible down the track.”

At 6-4, 215 pounds, Weinstock is scheduled to push a four-man sled driven by Codie Bascue and a two-man sled driven by Justin Olsen.

Olsen is a former pusher who helped the U.S. capture a gold medal in a four-man event at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. He decided to transition into driving the sled two years ago.

“We spent six weeks in Europe,” said Weinstock, who was also the Class 4A high school football player of the year in Nevada. “Justin and I had some of the fastest starts in the world.”

But at the 2016 world championships in Igls, Austria, the duo found out they had not met all the qualifications to compete in the event. Instead, they were told they could make practice runs before the competition. In one of their runs, they set a course record.

“We were angry about the decision of not being allowed to compete, and we made it a point to beat the guys who were going to be in the competition,” Weinstock said. “If we had been allowed to race, we would have come in fourth or fifth place.”

Weinstock has experienced a lot in his brief time in bobsled, and he knows the biggest thrill is about to come in South Korea.

“Everyone thinks of the Olympics as the pinnacle of athletics,” Weinstock said. “Training with my teammates for the last three years has helped prep me for the mindset of being able to compete for something larger than myself and against the best competition in the world.”