I would like to welcome all my new blog followers!! Thank you for wanting to step through the looking glass with me in this crazy, fun world of Bobsled and chasing Olympic dreams!
I will do my best to sum things up quickly to bring everyone up to speed. It’s been a busy and stressful season and I apologize for not getting this out quicker. I do update my Twitter (@jessbeck3) more consistently so please follow me because it allows me to post information to all of you quicker.
I believe the last place I left off I was headed back up to Calgary for more push testing. One of the drivers had decided to pick his team by having us race off in different combinations to see which combination was the fastest. It was five of us racing off for the three spots on this particular sled. We had our race-off and long story short I won a spot on the sled after beating a teammate that was previously ranked above me after Push Championships a couple of months ago. After the race-off I was told I was now on the team, so as you can imagine I was feeling pretty good.
However two days later I was told by one of the other push athlete’s on the team that they had decided to replace me with someone else! Once again you can imagine how upset and disappointed at this turn of events since I had funded my own way to Calgary, won my race-off to be on the sled against an athlete that finished 4th in push champs.
To add insult to injury, the driver who made the decision asked the same push athlete who helped maneuver me off the sled to inform me I was no longer on that sled. Yup, my thoughts exactly!
It’s moments like this when I wish football rules applied in bobsled leaving less chances for plainly wrong acts to be treated as acceptable. Regardless of how I felt at that moment and even now, I needed to move on and figure out what my next move would be.
I thank God for making me as strong as he has because without him as my base I would have easily lost it at that moment. I am also so thankful that I have great family members who helped me deal with what just occurred. I prayed a bit more for some clarity, and how to proceed. The fact was that I needed to be on a crew and race in Team Trials for me to have a chance to make the National Team.
National Team Trials
Our National Team Trial Races determine who will be on the National Team/World Cup Team for the first half of the Season. For the men's National Team they select three teams plus two alternate brakemen giving a total of 3 Drivers and 11 Brakemen. For the women, they pick three teams and three alternates for the National Team, giving a total of 3 Drivers and 6 Brakemen.
In order to obtain a proper assessment of a team’s ability to perform (drive and push) on different tracks we were scheduled to have a week of racing on the Bobsled Track in Lake Placid, NY and Park City, UT. However, due to warm weather in Lake Placid we were only able to have one 2man race there, so we ended up having a 2man race and two 4man races in Park City. Like the rest of my travel this summer leading up to Team Trials, these trips are all self-funded. I will say this, having to spend two weeks in Park City, UT paying for housing, rental cars, workout facilities, food and etc. is an expensive trip.
Being that it is Olympic year and the depth of the American program is increasing, it was a very competitive Team Trials process. In the first 2man race in Lake Placid my teammates finished 5th, in the 2man race raced in Park City we finished 6th, and in the two 4man races one race we finished 5th and 4th.
After the final Team Trials race the Selection Committee met and selected who would be on the National Team. Just as happened last year, two of the guys who raced as USA 4 were selected for the National Team (They were in the position I was in until I was moved off the sled after having proved I belonged on it).
The bad news is that I did not make the National Team for the first half of the season. The good news is that I still have a chance to make the National Team for the Second half of the season and, God willing, the Olympic Team. I am racing on the North America’s Cup (NAC) Circuit and, possibly, a race or two on the Intercontinental Cup Circuit which has races in Europe and are both self-funded race circuits. With good performances in these races the coaches can decide to bring me up to the National Team and let me compete in another round of push testing against current members of the National Team.
Information for NAC race circuit can be found at http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Bobsled-Skeleton-Federation
Being that I desperately need to raise $10,000 in funding I have set up several ways everyone can help sponsor me:
I have a JB3 Signature Athlete Gear for sale by my sponsor Cradle Gear that you can purchase here http://store.cradlegear.com/Jesse-Beckom-III_c_192.html
I also have two 2014 Calendars for sale that you can purchase here http://www.jessebeckom.blogspot.com/2013/09/2014-jesse-beckom-iii-journey-to-russia_13.html
Or by clicking the donate button located on web-page www.jessebeckom3.com
I will be battling it out until the Olympic Team is named January 20th so keep me in your prayers and wish me luck.