The U.S. four-man bobsled team whose pushers included Carlo Valdes of Newport Beach finished 20th in the field of 29 in the event that concluded Saturday at the Winter Olympics.
The sled piloted by Justin Olsen entered the final two runs at the Olympic Sliding Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 21st place.
The team was 18th on its first run Saturday (California time) and third of the competition in 49.66 seconds. It was fourth in its final run in 49.56. Its total time of 3:18.55 was 2.7 behind the winner, the German sled piloted by Francesco Friedrich.
“Obviously this is not the result we wanted, but at the same time, we’ve been pushing fast all year and hopefully people see that and it inspires them to come out and join the federation,” Valdes said.
The U.S. sled piloted by Codie Bascue was ninth, the one by Nick Cunningham 19th.
The 27-year-old Valdes was introduced to bobsledding by Andreas Drbal, a U.S. national team member who had been a track and field teammate at UCLA.
Valdes began his bobsledding career in 2014 and was the 2015 USA Men’s Bobsled Rookie of the Year for the 2014-15 season. He has won eight medals in World Cup races.
The other pushers on the team are Chris Fogt, a member of the four-man bobsled crew that won a bronze medal in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and Nathan Weber, a U.S. Army special forces operative.
Olsen piloted a two-man bobsled team to a 14th- place finish Monday, 14 days after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.
–City News Service