Gordy Rush may be the only person in Louisiana who knows what Lolo Jones knows: what it’s like to slide down an icy bobsled run.
Rush, the former LSU and Jesuit High football player and now vice president/market manager for Guaranty Broadcasting, took part in U.S. bobsled tryouts back in 1997 in Lake Placid, N.Y.
“They went out to recruit people across the country trying to find push athletes,” said Rush, also part of LSU’s radio broadcast team and host of Les Miles’ weekly coaches’ show.
“One of the radio stations did it. (Local talk show host) Richard Condon called out anyone in the media to challenge him. I went out there and got the fastest time and got invited to train in Lake Placid.”
Rush trained for a week, won his flight then was invited back two months later to train during the lead up to the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
“I would have been on the domestic team, not the Nagano group,” Rush said. “I was on the equivalent of USA 5.”
Football and track athletes make good bobsledders because of their explosiveness, Rush said.
“It’s about the start,” he said, “how fast you get out of the blocks. It’s the explosiveness and the synchronization to get in the bobsled and not slow down the momentum you created.”
So what’s it like once you’re in the sled?
“It’s like a roller coaster, until you hit the wall that first time and you realize, ‘I’m not on a track,’ ” Rush said. “But you get used to it.”