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By Randy York
One thing about a Nebraska football walk-on: Once a Husker, always a Husker. How else do you explain a 2010 Winter Olympic Gold Medalist talking about Nebraska's Spring Game the day after he's part of USA-1's push crew that won the gold in the four-man bobsled World Championship at Lake Placid, N.Y.? Curt Tomasevicz (pronounced Tom-eh-SEV-itch), says the win gives the American team confidence to repeat its gold medal performance in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. It also just might give Tomasevicz the confidence to find a way to Lincoln, so he can watch Nebraska's annual Red-White Spring Football Game on Saturday, April 14, at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is 1 p.m. and ticket sales are on pace with previous years.
"It was frustrating last fall when we had to take off for Europe early to train for this year's World Championships," Tomasevicz said. "I had to watch too many games on the Big Ten Network, so I'm clearing my calendar so I can at least make it back to the Spring Game. I really trust Coach (Bo) Pelini's leadership, and since I played for him (in 2003), I try to make it back every chance I can." Tomasevicz's job in the back seat of the world's fastest bobsled requires year-round training, including six months in home base Colorado Springs, where he runs sprints and lifts weights, a similar regimen that helped him become a special teams contributor as a Husker walk-on.
Eighteen months ago, Tomasevicz gave serious thought to going from one fast track to another and giving NASCAR a shot, but he put that idea aside in search of back-to-back Olympic gold. Three of the Olympic champion four-man team are back in the sled - Steve Holcomb (Park City, Utah), Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) and Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.). The newcomer is Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) The crew is training fulltime with an eye on the next World Championship in February 2013 in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Tomasevicz, 31, continues to be a spokesman for the Nebraska Corn Board and accepts several speaking engagements that can fit into his schedule. They range from a Skype session from Lake Placid to a high school in Kenesaw, Neb., to an athletic banquet at O'Neill. He's speaking to an agricultural group at Southeast Community College in Beatrice, and he's scheduled as a keynote speaker at the Cattlemen's Ball in McCool Junction this summer.
As pleased as Tomasevicz was with the American team's performance at Lake Placid, the weekend was not without its problems. "My mom and two of her friends and one of their husbands flew here to see both days of the World Championships," he said. "They got sidetracked by weather in Chicago and ended up in Burlington, Vermont, instead of Albany, New York. They missed all of Saturday's session. I got to eat dinner with them Saturday night, but mom got sick and couldn't go to Sunday's session." Tomasevicz felt bad that his mom flew so far and missed everything. Who knows? Maybe one of the world's most visible athletes - one who's been on the cover of Sports Illustrated and who's been featured on the David Letterman Show - will do something special for his mom when they're back in Nebraska ... like take her to the Spring Game.
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