Silver medalist returns home briefly before National Guard duty

Updated: March 2, 2006, 5:39 AM ET
Associated Press

PROVO, Utah -- Silver-medal-winning bobsledder Shauna Rohbock has returned home to Orem, where she will have a week before leaving for three weeks of National Guard duty in Florida.

"You wouldn't believe how many phone calls my parents have had from people congratulating them and telling them they have been following me," Rohbock said Wednesday.

"There is a big billboard by (Utah Valley State College) that has a picture of us and says, 'Congratulations.' That's crazy," she said. "That's something you might expect from a town in the middle of nowhere, not Orem, which is a pretty big city. I guess people feel like they have accomplished something through you and that's pretty cool."

Rohbock and her bobsled teammate, Valerie Fleming, were at Brigham Young University Wednesday night to meet with well-wishers before BYU's 77-69 basketball victory over Colorado State.

Rohbock graduated from Mountain View High School in 1995, then went on to play soccer at BYU, and then for the San Diego Spirit.

Rohbock said she was performing at 85 percent to 90 percent during the Games.

"I was happy we were just able to compete because we were falling apart at the end," Rohbock said. "Valerie hurt her back two weeks before and couldn't walk for three days, and I felt like I pulled my hamstring.

"I was pretty nervous on that first run. I thought it's either going to pull and I'll be done, or it would hurt and I would be OK," she said. "It turns out it was nothing a little Ibuprofen couldn't take care of. I wasn't sure I'd be able to compete so to win a medal was pretty exciting."

She has been inundated with media interviews and requests for speaking engagements.

"There's a lot of groups and schools who want me to come and speak to them and I understand that," Rohbock said. "You have to expect that when you win an Olympic medal."

An injury kept her from being sent to Iraq with her National Guard unit two years ago.

The injury was detected in late 2003 by doctors examining members of the 115th Engineer Group as it was preparing for a yearlong deployment to the Persian Gulf.

The torn rotator cuff did not prevent her from joining the U.S. bobsled team in Germany for World Cup competitions. "It's not like I have to lift the sled over my head. It's more of a leg sport," she said at the time.

Rohbock belonged to the Army's World Class Athlete Program, based in Colorado Springs, which provides athletes pay and benefits while they compete for their country. She was among 13 Army athletes who competed in the 2002 Games.

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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