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Posted 18 Dec 2001   For week ended December 14, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 11Dec01

By Paul Carter

Shauna Rohbock: Her Need for Speed may the Olympics

PARK CITY, UTAH -- Shauna Rohbock has wanted to be in the Olympics for several years. If the 24-year-old BYU soccer and heptathalon champion gets her chance in February, it will be as brakeman for a US two-woman bobsled team when women's bobsled makes its debut as an Olympic sport.

Teams will be announced later this month and Shauna's recent successes seem to be pushing, literally, her and her teammate Jill Bakken to a berth on the US Olympic team.

The Bakken-Rohbock team headed into the the World Cup season with their sled designated USA 1 after beating the favored team of Jean Racine and Jennifer Davidson in World Cup time trials in October. Bakken and Rohbock currently rank 6th in World Cup standings with the other two US teams tied at 3rd place.

Born in Provo, Utah and raised in Orem, Shauna has been athletic all of her life. She grew up playing soccer and ran track and field as a youngster. As a student-athlete at BYU, she was named All-American in both soccer and in track and field as an heptathalete--twice in both sports.

With solid athletic ability, her opportunity to participate in the Olympics only began in 1999, however, when recruiters from the US bobsled team came to BYU and invited her to try out for the team.

As an alternate on the team in the 1999-2000 team, she served as the backup for any brakeman unable to compete. It was during that, her first, season that Shauna crewed for Jill Bakken when Jill's brakeman had to return to the US from European competition. The Bakken-Rohbock combination immediately was successful.

"We did really, really well!--second in the world," recalls Shauna enthusiastically. She quickly follows with the reason for the duo's success: "Chemistry--it makes you or breaks you. When you're over in Europe, you only have each other."

In addition to their teamwork on the US bobsled team, both have also joined the Utah Army National Guard. As Specialist First Class, each benefits from the World Class Athlete Program which is offered by the US armed forces to support the country's top athletes while they train and compete.

Says Rohbock of the two women's spurring each other on to enlist, "Both of us were trying to act tougher than the other. 'Yeah, I'll do it.' 'I'll do it.' When we finally signed, I said, 'I thought for sure you'd back down.' And she said, 'I thought you'd back down.'"

In addition to their time committed to military training, the two team mates also talk with young people interested in serving their country. As members of the military, they fully expected to be called to active duty after September 11th and were surprised to not be called.

Explains Shauna, "Our assignment depends on what they order us to do, and right now, they've ordered us to be bobsled athletes."

The US Olympic Women's bobsled team is expected to be named either December 22nd or 23rd. The team is currently involved in an international training week in Park City Utah which ends December 8th. World Cup competition continues in Calgary Alberta Canada this month and then Europe Cup competition, in Konigssee Germany, will be one week before the opening of the Olympics.

The Olympics begin February 8th and the Women's Bobsled competition will be held at Park City Utah February 16th, 17th, and 18th with the final two heats February 19th from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.


Bobsledding headlong to history
Portland OR Oregonian 28Nov01 S2
By Abby Haight

Bakken, Rohbock slide to first in trials
Deseret News 21Oct01 S2
By Joe Bauman: Deseret News staff writer

See also:

Shauna Rohbock
USA Bobsled 2002

World Bobsleigh Tour Results

Bakken and Rohbock take USA1 position
Steel and Ice 20Oct01 S2
By Julie Urbansky: Media &Public Relations Director


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