Hello Everyone, my name is Chase Blueberg and I recently qualified for the USA Bobsled team with hopes of representing our country in the 2022 Olympics being held in Beijing, China.
Before I get into the details of how this opportunity came to be I would like to give a little background about myself and how I was raised.
I was fortunate to grow up in Carson City, Nevada surrounded by a great family and friends. I attended Carson High School where I played and excelled at both football and baseball. Sports were always a big part of my life and baseball seemed to be a family tradition. My father and older brother both played professional baseball for many years. So as most boys would, I followed in their footsteps! I was blessed to play baseball in college and in 2017 was fortunate enough to be drafted by the Atlanta Braves as a pitcher. While this was a huge accomplishment I opted to go back to school for my junior year at Presbyterian College in South Carolina in hopes of upping my draft stock and earning my degree.
Everything was going according to plan until sadly, I suffered a labrum tear in my shoulder. Anyone that knows or has played baseball understands that labrum injuries are especially difficult to rehabilitate. I was advised by doctors not to undergo surgery as pitching post-surgery would also be difficult. I battled the injury, tried to rehab and pitched through it until the end of my senior year but my arm was never the same. After graduation and much soul searching I realized that my dream of professional baseball simply wasn’t in the cards. After numerous hours of training (both on the field and in the weight room) this was a huge disappointment but over time, I was able to come to terms with it. Eventually, I was ready and excited for the next chapter in my life!
HOW I GOT INTO BOBSLED
It wasn't until I had a conversation with my best friend about an article he read that this sport even entered my mind. The article was about a former Green Beret named Nate Weber who made the Olympic bobsled team! My buddy told me about Team USA holding open combines in the summer, all across the country. The sport seemed to need athletes with an ability/physique similar to mine.
Like so many young people, going to the Olympics had always been a pipe dream and if there existed a remote possibility to realize that dream, I simply had to try!! I attended one of the combines in Park City, Utah right after graduation and my overall score was the highest of the whole combine. Later that week, I was contacted by Mike Donnie, the coach of Team USA bobsled and he invited me to train at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY. Over the next two weeks, I was able to score high on some additional testing and showed some real potential to the coaches. It was an incredible experience and they have invited me back to train this winter at the OTC and plan for me to race for Team USA next year!
WHY FUNDING IS NEEDED
It is fairly common knowledge that Olympic athletes are not paid like professional athletes in the MLB or NFL. Olympic athletes rely heavily on endorsements and self funding. Of course, after winning gold medals and becoming a household name funding is not as difficult but what most people don't think about is the journey to that point. Bobsled is completely unfunded by the government and relies entirely on private funding.
Bobsled is one of the most expensive sports due to the cost of shipping a 500-pound sled with specially outfitted equipment all over the world. These sleds are incredible but to give some insight, shipping ONE four-man sled to Europe and back is $11,000. That is a lot of money and each athlete is responsible for paying for their gear and travel. I’m sure you can imagine, this adds up quickly.
For me to pursue this sport and have a REAL chance of realizing my dream of representing Team USA in 2022, I am humbly asking for your support. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated and I truly hope that you can join me on this amazing journey.
Thank you so much in advance and God bless!