Omaha woman pushes for Olympic spot on U.S. Bobsled Team

By  | 

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The last few weeks, Nicole Brungardt has been straying from her comfort zone. By day she’s an engineer at CenturyLink planning the route for a new fiber network. At night comes the harder part. She works out. It’s hard to escape the thick air and oppressive heat of a Nebraska July.

“It’s not as hot, but I’m still hot,” she said. “I haven’t been on the track for a while.”

The 27-year old Norfolk native is several years removed from her record-setting track days at Wayne State. Since her dad, Tim Brungardt and brother Mark played football for Nebraska, she enlisted the help of another former Husker as her trainer

“It’s sled time,” said trainer Lornell McPherson.

“He’s gotten me to the best shape I’ve been in,” Nicole said.

A sled Nicole pushes across the turf at Northwest High is the closest thing available to test her progress on this new pursuit.

“Bobsledding never really crossed my mind. That’s a new one,” she said. Becoming an Olympian is her dream now.

“It’s always been a dream of mine but it’s been far-fetched,” said Nicole.

Not in track or her other sport of volleyball, but as a bobsledder.

“Even when I say it, it sounds kind of weird.”

Last month, on a whim, Nicole Brungardt traveled to Utah for a series of drills measuring her speed and power.

She did so well, she’s been invited to Lake Placid, New York, in mid-August for a shot at making the U.S. Olympic team in bobsledding.

There’s just one thing—

“I’ve never been in a Bobsled. So we’re going to be going blind there. Hopefully I’ll like it. Before I go I’ll probably do some research about what you even do besides push it and jump in,” Nicole said.

If you’re not the driver, the bobsled is about the take off. Even though Nicole Brungardt hasn’t yet been in a bobsled, she figures this could help.

“I actually love the snow. I’m a weirdo. I always thought it was odd that I loved the snow. Maybe it’s for a reason,” she said.

Perhaps it is.

The first day for the Rookie Bobsled Combine in New York is August 20th.

Nicole has set up a GoFundMe page to help her with expenses as she pursues her dream.