Brungardt reflects on year 1 of bobsled journey
Norfolk native Nicole Brungardt is not going to this year's Olympics...
"There was always a chance... a little bit of a chance", says Nicole. "It would have been a miracle, but pretty much the next quad is what I'd be going for."
In 2018, several years after completing her track and volleyball career at Wayne State, Brungardt stumbled across a new athletic opportunity.
"I was just listening to Joel Osteen radio, and he talked about a former track athlete that went into bobsled because they need the same things, like strength and power. Then I looked on the website and I saw there were combines every summer. I talked to my dad and he was like 'we're booking flights, let's go', and I was like 'alright here we go'."
Here We Go indeed... Nicole describes her first experience in a bobsled.
"It was... wild. I was scared for my life. I was like, 'I'm going to puke everywhere'. I actually did puke later... but I just prayed the whole way down, I was like, 'I swear I'll never get in one of these if I make it out alive', but you can't even describe it to someone. And that's what everyone would tell me, but I was like 'it's fine, I'll be fine', but then... it was a rush... The first day I thought 'I'm done, this isn't for me', but it gets better."
Nicole's bobledding journey has already taken her farther than she'd ever imagined.
"We started the North American Circuit, so we went to Whistler, Canada... Calgary, Park City... and then we went to Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria... I was like, 'am I really over in Europe doing this?' Seeing all these places I've only dreamed of..."
And it's even made an impact on her family at home in Nebraska. "From the moment I told them, they were all super supportive. It's fun to have everybody be excited about it and it's definitely brought us closer, for sure."
Even though she won't be competing in Korea, Nicole is already focused on the 2022 Winter Games.
"I'm going to set my sights high and absolutely that's what I'm going for... the people that I've met, the relationships I've formed, just walking around with Olympic athletes... it really put life in perspective that you can do stuff that you love, which is what I want to continue."
See her full interview below: