By Paul Carter
Shauna Rohbock: Her Need for Speed may Lead...to 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
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
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
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
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