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Steve Mesler ( 1978 - )  Category ( Sports_Figures ) [suggest a correction]
 

Steve Mesler is an American bobsledder and Olympic gold medalist who has competed since 2001.

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, the snowy climate was perfect for winter sports. But Mesler was an all-around athlete from a young age. He was a standout soccer player, and competed in track and field beginning at age eleven. In fact, he competed in track and field at the Junior Olympic US National meet, placing thirteenth in the high jump. He then began to seriously train for the Olympics.

Even when he was only thirteen years old he spent three days a week during the cold winter months doing plyometrics in his parent's unheated garage. He went to City Honors School and graduated in 1996. Mesler credits the consistent and total support of his family with his development as an athelete. In 1993, his mother and sister traveled with him to a Junior Olympic National meet, where he won medals in the Pentathlon and the triple jump. When he rushed to call his dad with the great news, his father broke down and cried. Mesler said it was in that moment that he realized his hard work could bring joy to others.

His track and field achievements led to a scholarship as a Decathlete to the University of Florida. However, once he was a college athlete, he began suffering a series of injuries and had to undergo  surgery. As he neared the completion of his undergraduate studies and began to look at graduate school, and the possibility of coaching jobs, he wondered what else might be in store for his life.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in exercise and sports science. Then, in 2000, Mesler emailed the Olympic Committe to ask about the possibility of becoming a bobsledder. He ended his email “If this is something I can do, please let me know...if this is something that I have no chance with, just let me know and you’ll never hear from me again.”

He received a very positive response, but realized he would need to relocate, since Florida was not conducive for snow sports. Before he moved he adapted his training to include pushing a friend's car while she was at the wheel, and by pushing his high school track athletes as they sat on the tops of stacks of hurdles.His perseverance paid off and soon he was marching in with the rest of the United States delegation at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.

His most triumphal moment came in February 2010, when he and the other members of the four-men bobsledding team took home the gold medal. The team's bobsled, named the "Night Train," seats four, with Mesler occupying the third and what is known as the "trickiest" slot, since finesse is required in that position in order to manage the balance and speed of the sled. Mesler now lives in Calgary, Canada. Initially he settled there thinking it was the perfect place for training, but the city has grown on him. He said that he loves everything about the city, the mountains, living close to the river and especially the people."


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