November 5, 2012

Healthy Competition - by Curt Tomasevicz

I believe that everyone has some competitiveness in them. I think it’s what keeps people motivated. It doesn’t have to be a cocky display of “I want to be better than everyone else.” But I think deep down, a desire to finish in first place is healthy. Competition drives the grain markets and the economy that Nebraska corn farmers thrive on. It’s the basis of our capitalistic society. (Although most would agree that the competition between political parties right now is not necessarily improving the country!)But as the saying goes…Competition breeds success.

While growing up, I used competition to help me do my best in not only sports, but also in the classroom and in nearly everything I did. I’d race my brother home from church. My record for mowing the yard was 42 minutes. My friends and I would see who could hold their breath and swim underwater the farthest. Who could collect the most baseball cards? Annually, the bobsled team will even hold a mustache contest in which I claim that no one ever wins. I would even try to pour as many raisins as I could into my bowl of Raisin Bran cereal in the mornings. (OK, maybe that’s not necessarily breeding success, but you get my point.)

Last year’s Mustache Competition during the 2011-2012 Bobsled Season
(L to R. Chris Fogt, Steve Langton, Curt Tomasevicz)
Obviously, as a world class Olympic athlete, the success of my job is measured by a competition. In the upcoming World Cup season, each race will have a winner and a number of losers, albeit ranked losers. The goal of being that winner each week keeps me striving to do my very best every weekend as we race on the different tracks throughout the world. I know that the Russians, the Germans, and the Canadians are working as hard as they can to knock my team off the top of the bobsled podium.

Over the past few weeks as the U.S. bobsled team has been preparing for the first race of the year held on our home track in Lake Placid, NY, we’ve had no one to compete against but ourselves. This coming season, the U.S. will have three competitive sleds on the World Cup circuit and each day the three teams use each other to get better. Some would consider the pre-season practice runs to be mundane and repetitive. But when the down times are separated by hundredths of seconds, the push from within the U.S. team can only help the teams’ end goals. The depth of the athletic talent continues to get better and better each year. This year, the American team has faster and stronger athletes than any year in history.

I’m excited to see how our three teams will now compare to the rest of the bobsled world. Monday will mark the first day of official training when entire World Cup Circuit will practice together to prepare for the 2-man race on Friday and the 4-man race on Saturday. We will use the races to measure just how much we were able to push each other over the past couple weeks. No matter the results, I’m very thankful to have such a strong group of teammates to drive me and my team to become our absolute best. I hope that I do the same for them.

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