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USA Bobsled and Skeleton typically has staff spending part of the spring and summer months on the road recruiting, looking for new talent and luring them with the potential of representing their country in the Olympics.

This year, amid a pandemic, none of that could take place.

So USABS made the entire process digital — and so far, it’s working.

Following the same sort of thinking that works for high school athletes trying to get noticed by colleges, USABS has invited potential sliders to upload resumes and videos that show what they can do and who they are. The results have been overwhelming, both in terms of the numbers and the quality of athleticism from many who are interested.

“I would say in this short amount of time — and we’re just talking really like from May to now — I think this has been the greatest response rate of any recruiting thing that we’ve ever done,” said USABS assistant coach Mike Dionne, who handles much of the federation’s recruiting efforts. “I was shocked at the amount of responses that we were getting.”

Someone submitted video of herself pushing a car for 30 yards in a parking lot. Another sent his rugby highlights. One woman inserted a clip of her missing what would have been a game-winning goal in a state high school soccer championship game and how she grew from that experience.

USABS already has gotten dozens of serious candidates involved, through Zoom video conferences with coaches and established athletes and past bobsled and skeleton Olympians. Team officials expect many more names to get into the mix before the Sept. 30 submission deadline for consideration this season.

The idea of taking the process online, USABS CEO Aron McGuire said, was probably overdue and is likely here to stay. Athletes submit themselves running a 40-yard dash, completing a broad jump, plus fill out a questionnaire. Just like that, they officially become Olympic hopefuls.

“COVID or no COVID, we’ve got to be thinking about ways that we can be more efficient and really get a greater reach,” McGuire said. “We can get more athletes excited about the sports and get them involved. So, this is kind of a great way to kind of reach that next generation of athletes.”

Another plus for USABS: It saves a ton of money. Budget constraints would typically limit the team to recruiting stops in 8-10 cities, McGuire said. This reach, being online, is unlimited.

“Now, we can have the entire reach of literally anyone in the world, any US citizen in the world that wants to try out,” McGuire said. “It’s much more effective in terms of that outreach.”

What happens in the coming weeks, if all goes to plan, would see many of the Olympic hopefuls travel to Lake Placid, New York, — the team’s home base — or possibly Park City, Utah, for rookie camps. Lake Placid would be where many of the incoming athletes who are seeking to be part of the bobsled program would see a push track for the first time, and coaches could start getting more information on who has the type of strength, speed and explosiveness that is needed to help get a sled down a mountain as fast as possible.

Dionne said it’s not outside the realm of possibility that someone who comes into the program this fall could still find themselves on the 2022 U.S. Olympic bobsled team. There are precedents for things happening that quickly.

And this season, it’s unclear how much U.S. national team athletes will be overseas because of the pandemic. If some top athletes are able to train in Lake Placid or Park City more for even some of the sliding season, that could accelerate the development of this year’s rookie class.

“For a bobsled push athlete, 2022 is definitely not out of the question,” Dionne said. “And we’re also trying to fill the pipeline for bobsled and skeleton drivers more than anything. On average, that can be an eight-year process before they’re ready to be in medal contention at the Olympics. So, we have to get those athletes in the pipeline.”


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Trump campaign adviser Brad Parscales guns may be taken away after drunken arrest

Fort Lauderdale police are moving to take away Trump campaign adviser Brad Parscale’s guns after his arrest Sunday, according to a report.

Pascale, 44, had 10 guns in his $2.4 million waterfront home when he barricaded himself in the house with a loaded gun, prompting his wife to run to safety and have a neighbor dial 911 to report a possible suicide.

Cops recovered two shotguns, two rifles, a .22-caliber revolver and five other handguns, according to reports.

Now, police said they’ll file to take Parscale’s weapons under Florida’s Red Flag Law, which was enacted following the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the Miami Herald reported.

“Our threat response unit detectives are in the process of submitting this petition,” Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw told the outlet.

The law permits cops or relatives to confiscate weapons if the person could present a danger to themselves or others.

Police have to file a petition with the court to confiscate the weapons, which the department said it will do.

Parscale was involuntarily hospitalized under the state’s Baker and Marchman acts.

Brad Parscale, campaign manager for the Trump 2020 re-election campaign.


Brad Parscale being arrested outside his home in Fort Lauderdale,

Fort Lauderdale Police Departmen

Fort Lauderdale Police Departmen

Fort Lauderdale Police Departmen

Fort Lauderdale Police Departmen

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September 29, 2020

The Baker Act allows police to hold an individual for psychiatric investigation if they pose a danger to themselves. The Marchman Act allows intoxicated individuals to be held for up to five days.

Parscale was drunk and armed when his wife, Candice, called police to the Seven Isles home Sunday. She told cops the two had been arguing when he loaded one of his guns, sending her scrambling outside.

Candice Parscale also told cops that her husband has hit her in the past.

The caught-on-video arrest shows an apparently drunk Brad Parscale eventually walk out of the house shirtless and holding a beer and is tackled by a SWAT team member and taken into custody.

Fort Lauderdale police did not immediately reply to an inquiry on whether the Red Flag Law petition had been filed.

Parscale remains an adviser on the Trump campaign.

Filed under donald trump ,  fort lauderdale ,  guns ,  police ,  9/29/20

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