Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Spring 2018

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Monterey's Nick Cunningham Goes from Surfboards to Bobsleds B Y M I C H A E L C H AT F I E L D H ow did a guy who grew up surfing in temperate Monterey end up in the chilly driver's seat of a bobsled? Just ask Nick Cunningham; he steered two- and four-man bobsleds in three Winter Olympic games: Vancouver in 2010, Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang this past February. Cunningham ran track and played football at Monterey High and in college, then decided to try out for the US bobsled team in 2008. "My parents suggested it," he says. "I thought, 'Why not?' At least it would make a good bar story." Eighteen months after trying out, he was steering in the Vancouver games. 2018 was a heartbreaking year in Pyeong- Chang for the US men's bobsled team. A string of misfortunes—including bobsled superstar Steven Holcomb's death—led to a less-than- stellar showing in PyeongChang. "It was a very long season," Cunningham says. "It star ted with Steve's death. He was our team's glue." He told the Chicago Tribune, "The bobsled gods are upset at us." But he's not deterred. "We left with our heads held high," he says. Having lived and trained in Lake Placid, NY, for several years, Cunningham is considering a return to Monterey—but who knows? He might just find himself in Beijing in 2022. SHORTCUTS NEIGHBORS Nick Cunningham of Monterey drove a bobsled in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The event was marred with tragedy after fellow athlete Steven Holcomb's death. 66 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 8 Photo: Molly Choma

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