Olympic gold medalist Justin Olsen retired from bobsled on Wednesday and immediately got hired by USA Bobsled and Skeleton as one of its start coaches.
Olsen and fellow Olympic medalist Garrett Hines are now overseeing the start program for the Americans, and they will be based in Lake Placid, New York — where the Olympic Regional Development Authority is building a state-of-the-art iced push track facility.
“I have had a lot of time to reflect and consider how I might best share the knowledge and experience I’ve gained and continue to contribute to USABS and Team USA,” Olsen said in a statement. “As I look forward to the future, I am overcome by emotions of humility and gratitude.”
Olsen is a three-time Olympian and was in the sled that Steven Holcomb drove to the four-man gold medal at the Vancouver Games in 2010, a win that ended a 62-year title drought for the Americans in that discipline. Hines was on the team that won silver in four-man at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, the first medal for USA Bobsled at the games in 46 years.
Combined, they had 22 years of experience as athletes, with six world championship and Olympic medals between them.
“We are really excited for Justin and Garrett to make the transition to coaches,” USABS CEO Aron McGuire said. “They have a wealth of sliding knowledge and experience to share from their time in the sport as athletes, and they will be assets to this team as we strive for excellence in 2022 and beyond.”
Olsen and Hines will split time between the development and national teams for both bobsled and skeleton.
“I spent some time coaching last season since I couldn’t be in a sled, and I found out that I had a blast doing it,” Olsen said.
Hines retired from sliding in 2003 and has spent the last 17 years working as a track and field coach with high school, college and international programs.
“I want to work with the future of the sport,” Hines said. “I want to give back to a sport that many past athletes, including myself, love and achieved our dreams in. I’m looking forward to working with a new administration and coaches on how to best prepare our athletes for success, and I’m really excited about utilizing the new push facility, which is a dream come true for push athletes and coaches alike.”