Graduate student has an olympic dream

Photo by Jonelle Bobak.
By Jonelle Bobak

“My long-term, ultimate goal is to make it to the 2018 Winter Olympics,” said Gardner-Webb’s graduate student, Kristen Hurley. She is hoping to make the Olympic Bobsled Team for the 2018 olympic season.

Not far from her dream, this past September, Hurley was invited to Lake Placid, New York, the official training center for Olympic Bobsledding. She and 30 other people from around the country were introduced to the sport of bobsledding, and were there for one week.

Hurley said she had the opportunity to learn how to push the bobsled on a dry track. Since it was early September, they hadn’t froze the actual track yet.

“It was similar to a bobsled track and getting into an actual bobsled, but instead on wheels,” she said. “It was a little more complicated than what it seemed, but we built on it everyday.”

Hurley’s favorite part of bobsledding is the adrenaline rush that comes with it; the speed aspect is what excites her.

Image courtesy by Kristen Hurley

Image courtesy by Kristen Hurley

“The most fun part, I believe, will be going down the ice track at 90 mph,” Hurley said.

Hurley began at Gardner-Webb in the fall of 2010 as a physical education major and graduated in the spring of 2014 with a bachelors degree in physical education. She is currently a graduate student getting her masters in Sports Science and Pedagogy, the study of teaching children.

She is very competitive and wants to keep sports in her life.

“I run track at Gardner-Webb, I do something called the heptathalon,” she said. This event includes seven different events; 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meter dash, long jump, javelin and 800 meter run, all of which are done in two days. This experience is what lead Hurley to have an interest in bobsledding.

Hurley has been running track since high school, and started running at Gardner-Webb as a freshman.

“Recently some track people that I follow, like Lolo Jones, switched from doing the Summer Olympics in hurdles to doing bobsledding,” said Hurley.

Hurley wants to represent her country by being on the bobsled team.

“Going to the Olympics is probably the biggest dream I have ever had,” Hurley said. “It would be the coolest experience ever.”

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