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Curtis Tomasevicz ( 1980 - )  Category ( Sports_Figures ) [suggest a correction]
 

Curtis Tomasevicz is a small town hero as well as an Olympic medalist. His home state is particularly proud because he is the first Nebraskan to compete in an Olympic bobsled event. Indeed, some experts consider him the best American ever to push a sled.

Tomasevicz honed his physical strength and technique at the University of Nebraska, where he was a member of the Cornhusker's football team. Tomasevicz not only played football, he also earned a bachelor's as well as the master’s of science degree in electrical engineering, with a minor in astronomy. He received his degrees from the Nebraska-Lincoln campus, where he was named and Academic All Big XII in 2002. He became interested in bobsledding while he was at college and began competing in 2004.

Tomasevicz played football and bobsleds for the sheer love of the sports. He played college football without a scholarship, and entered bobsledding competition with no sponsors. However, his lack of funding did not slow him down. He won five medals at the FIBT World Championships with a gold (Four-man: 2009), a silver (Mixed team: 2007) and three bronzes (Two-man: 2009, Mixed team: 2008, 2009).Tomasevicz finished sixth in the four-man event at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. He was an alternate during the (2006-07) season on World Cup tour for driver Steven Holcomb and won a gold medal in Cesana, Italy during the 2007-08 season. The announcement that he would participate in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics was made in January 2010. He was selected as members of both the two-man and four-man events.

He and his teammates won a gold medal, which was the first gold medal win for the US in bobsledding for sixty-two years. He and his team members became instant heroes, not only in their home towns but across the nation, drawing massive media coverage. Tomasevicz and his fellow champion bobsledders even agreed to take comedian Stephen Colbert for a ride on their black bobsled, "Night Train," the sled that was used for the gold medal win. According to a witness, Colbert "tucked in tight between Justin Olsen and brakeman Curtis Tomasevicz...about a minute later, Colbert emerged unscathed but breathing hard."

Other major media coverage includes the cover of Sports Illustrated, interviews on NBC's Today Show, and even a guest appearance on David Letterman, where he delivered "Top Ten things You Don't Want to Hear From a Guy in Your Bobsled." Despite his new fame and hectic schedule, Tomasevicz still took the time to visit his hometown, speaking at his high school, and shaking the hands of proud citizens.

An enthusiastic Chicago Cubs fan, he plans to throw the ceremonial first pitch for a Cubs' game this year. According to Tomasevicz, it will be "an opportunity that ranks right below a gold medal." Right now, he stated, his life "all still seems a little bit like fantasy." His enthusiasm for the sport remains strong, and he claims he plans to continue his bobsledding career for years to come.


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