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Former Olympian Bobsledder Randy Will Visits Broome-Tioga BOCES

Students at Broome-Tioga BOCES had a visit from a former Olympian.
Students at Broome-Tioga BOCES had a visit from a former Olympian. Greater Binghamton native Randy Will was on several USA bobsled teams.

Former Bobsledder Randy Will talked to the students about his background and even fielded questions. BOCES has a special place in Will's heart, because students actually helped paint a Bobsled he built for the Australian team. About a year ago, Will bought all the parts for the sled around here and started building it in his Johnson City garage.

"We took it all over the place. I took it up to Lake Placid and Calgary. The team for Austrailia in the international Americas Cup took a silver and a bronze in the sled, which is weird because the sled is really fast. Now, it's sitting over in Russia and they are getting ready to race this weekend," said Will.

Will was actually a downhill skier, before becoming best known for bobsledding. An injury forced him to give up the skis in favor of the icy track. He was an Olympian in the '88, '92 and '94 games. Then, he got into coaching.

More recently he had been helping coach the Australian team, but was approached late last year by the U-S to come back on-board, which he has. He decided against going to Sochi for several reasons including because he now has a business called Nevole's in the Small Mall in Johnson City. Stop by the restaurant and you can see a real Olympic torch from the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City Utah.

The average bobsled speed is 85 to 90 miles per hour. In 1987, Will actually recorded the fastest speed ever at more than 101 miles per hour.

"You could take the biggest roller coaster you have ever been on in your life, times that by ten and then you're getting close. I've taken F-16 pilots down in my sled and they get out and they are just shocked. They are like, 'I've never been on anything even in my jet that does that. I've pulled 7 and a half G's in my sled before. That's a lot of G's. That almost knocks you out."

It's hard to give up the thrill.

"It is a very sentimental feeling. The first time I watched the Olypmics and I wasn't there was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. I felt empty. Once it's a part of you you never want to grow apart. You have to be part of it."

As to the current Olympians, Will says many of them are overwhelmed by social media at the games. And, here's a sneak peak to the upcoming bobsled races.

"I really feel very strongly that our US team with Steve Holcomb right now is going to do exceptionally well. I can also tell you that the Russians are going to be very strong this year, extremely."
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