Halfway around the world, in the Olympic Winter, United States bobsledder Sam McGuffie eagerly awaited Friday’s Opening Ceremony.

In three years, McGuffie has earned five medals in the World Cup races and hopes to bring home the gold in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“I’m really proud to be one of the elite representing the USA,” said McGuffie, 28.

Living by the philosophy, “You’ve got one life, make it count,” McGuffie has battled his way to the top of the mountain. McGuffie embraces the role of providing an example for American kids.

“Dream, have a goal, pursue it, and don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do,” McGuffie said.

“Get our there and work for it. Work hard, outwork everyone else and you’ll see yourself rise to the top.

“When things get hard, and they will, don’t listen to the naysayers. Who are they? Ninety-precent of the world is just a bunch of regular people. Dare to be great. The taste of success is even greater when you put your blood, sweat, and tears into it.”

McGuffie is a push crewman for the four-man bobsled piloted by Codie Bascue; and the brakeman for the two-man bobsled also piloted by Bascue.

Bascue and McGuffie had the fastest runs in each heat of the 2017 World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., finishing the two runs in 1 minutes, 51.73 seconds.

He also helped 2010 Olympic Bobsledder Steven Holcomb, who died last May from pulmonary congestion, win the World Cup in 2016 in the two-man race. McGuffie and Holcomb were also part of a four man-team that medaled as well.

In Pyeongchang, McGuffie is part of the USA-1 sled, teamed with Bascue, Steven Langton and Evan Weinstock. Langton has won two Olympic medals; Weinstock is considered the best pusher in the United States; and Bascue is believed to be a future American driving star.

McGuffie was born Oct. 16, 1989 in Houston. He was a star running back for Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, where he rushed for 5,847 yards in 699 carries and scored 83 touchdowns.

After graduation, McGuffie, heavily recruited by several colleges, played football as a freshman for University of Michigan.

“Playing for Michigan, having my named called as I ran on the field, a 180-pound 18-year-old kid, playing for 114,000 people, was a pretty big moment in my life,” he said.

He later transferred to Rice University, graduating in 2014.

It was during his college career that he medaled in Conference USA track meets in the long jump and heptathlon.

It was his former coach at Rice University who suggested McGuffie try bobsledding.

“It’s a speed, power, excellence – everything tangible in a good running back that made me right for bobsledding,” McGuffie said.

Webb is community editor for the Palestine (Texas) Herald Press, which is owned by CNHI. CNHI is also the parent company of The Daily Item.

McGuffie was announced as a member of the USA Bobsled National Team in October 2015. In January, he became a member of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Bobsleigh Team for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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