Saginaw Valley State University employee helps select Olympic bobsled team

KOCHVILLE TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (01/23/18) - In just a couple weeks the best winter athletes in the world will compete in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

This time around there's an Olympic connection to Mid-Michigan.

"Telling someone their dreams came true and then I was also crushing people's dreams, which is a hard thing to do," said Mickie Knous who is an athlete representative on the selection committee for U.S.A. Bobsled.

Knous also works at Saginaw Valley State University as the clinical coordinator for the Kinesiology Department. She helps students as they prepare for internships and other on-the-job training.

Knous just returned from Switzerland where the selection process took place. It's the exact same location where she was named to the 2010 team.

Knous, who competed with her maiden last name Rzepka, had an unusual path to the Olympics and boblsedding.

Knous competed at Michigan State University as a pole vaulter. Just when she thought injuries had sidelined her, Knous was introduced to bobsledding in 2007.

Her pole vaulting coach was having lunch with a bobsledding coach at an Olympic training center. The two got talking about Knous, who later got a call from the bobsledding coach.

Three years later she was in Vancouver. She'll never forget the opening ceremony.

"I felt like my whole athletic career kinda just came, and it felt like that, here's the reward. Like, here you're on the world stage representing your country," Knous said.

Knous didn't have the finish she'd hoped for, but she will never forget the sights and sounds of the Olympics, starting with her first run.

"It was so loud that in some of the curves, just audiences and people, everyone was just cheering so loud, that I thought our sled broke," Knous said.

Knous will watch this year's games from the comfort of her own home with her husband and two boys who she calls her "gold medals."

"There's just a time and place for everything. I had my time and place as an athlete and I enjoy my life just as much now just as much as an athlete," Knous said.

This year's games begin Feb. 9 with the opening ceremony.

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