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Texas Bobsledder Finishes 14th At Olympics, After Appendectomy

Justin Olsen (San Antonio) and Sam McGuffie (Houston) may not have placed in the two-man bobsled competition. But, they have another shot at winning a medal during the four-man competition on February 24th and 25th.

What are two sports with Texas ties? Believe it or not: bobsledding and speedskating. The final run in the two-man bobsled competition happened in PyeongChang, early Monday morning. San Antonio’s Justin Olsen ended up in 14th place, with teammate Evan Weinstock. 

In an e-mailed statement over the weekend, the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation said “… just entering the race was a victory for Olsen and Weinstock. Thirteen days ago it seemed unlikely that the U.S. duo would even be in the start order- Olsen was rushed to the hospital on the evening of Monday, Feb. 5, just two nights before unofficial training, with acute appendicitis.”

And also during the two-man bobsled competition: former Texas football sensation Sam McGuffie, from Cypress, placed 25th, along with his teammate Codie Bascue.

News 88.7 caught up with McGuffie’s former head football coach at Rice University, David Edward Bailiff. “I’m so proud of him,” said Bailiff. “It’s remarkable to think I’ve coached a young man who’s representing the United States.” Bailiff also said he’s not surprised McGuffie’s explosive endurance on the football field translated well into bobsledding. “You know, he’s extremely explosive. He’s got endurance…. Just with the acceleration that’s needed. We used to talk about it as a staff, of just how he was down the field 10 or 15 yards, in the blink of an eye.”

The other U.S. sled, Nick Cunningham and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor, placed 21st. Canada and Germany tied for the gold medal, in the two-man bobsled competition. The four-man competition will be held on February 24th and 25th. 

And in speedskating: U.S. speedskater Jonathan Garcia, from Katy, raced in the men’s 500 meters, early Monday morning. He placed 23rd. Norway placed first.

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