Memphis has a Bobsled Super Star - Team USA's Sable Otey

by Jerome Robinson | Oct 5, 2017

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How do you define being amazing?  Is it being a great parent and a supportive mate?  Is it giving back to the community you love?  Would you say it is beating the odds when life had stacked the cards against you?  It could be having the career that no one thought you could have.  For one graduate from East High School, being amazing means doing it all and still having room to write a book and win a slot on the USA Bobsled Team.  Yes I said it, a 30 year old woman from Memphis is on the Bobsled team for the USA and is hoping to compete in the winter olympics in just a few months.

Sable Otey trains in Calgary, which is a city in the Canadian province of Alberta.  The hard part for her isn’t the diet or all the hours of training, it’s being away from her son and husband.  I got a chance to talk with her about her life, her marriage, and her fight to be more than the hand she was dealt.


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The Challenge

Everything at this point for me is Self Funded.  I am responsible for my own expenses.  Additionally, training and competitions usually last 3 weeks to a month at a time.  During this time, I do not receive pay from my current place of employment.

Help is Needed

Expenses that I am responsible for are:  Buying my own equipment; Plane tickets;  RentalCar; Lodging; Ensuring that I am practicing healthy eating; Getting massages and chiropractic treatment; Taking the correct supplements and nutrients to replenish and recovery properly.

Memphis we can help Sable

Sable, in her own words

Many individuals that truly know me, know that I’ve always been an athlete. I take training very seriously and I work hard! Although I possess the talent and work ethic, I’d often struggle mentally. On a daily basis, I would mentally tear myself down. I didn’t believe in myself as much as others did and I was not trusting in God as I should have. I would literally get to a competition and start thinking, “What if I didn’t do this, or what if I didn’t do that”?! I took myself out of the competition before it even began. If you are not mentally focused/mentally sound, you are already defeated. I’ve now learned that, in order to have positive thoughts, I first needed to completely trust in God. I have to truly believe that God is control and he will help overcome any obstacle. I then had to surround myself with positive, like-minded, and uplifting individuals. I knew that if I was ever going to achieve something that I’d never achieved, I had to do something that I’ve never done. I’ve been listening to a motivational speaker by the name of Les Brown. He says that, “In order to do something that you’ve never done, you have to be someone that you’ve never been”! I am doing just that! I am going to verbalize my dreams and my goals. I am not going to let doubt or fear, be the determinate of my destination. I am Olympic Hopeful! I want be an Olympian. I am going to make this team. I believe in myself.

I was just starting to train competitively for track and field again after having my son, Amar’e, who was two, but now three years of age. I found out from a really good friend and brother that there would be a Bobsled Combine in South Carolina. Approximately 2 weeks before the combine, I decided to stop training for track and work on the events that I would be performing in the combine. Although I didn’t have much time to train for the combine, I had high hopes. Everyone believed that I could do this! They knew that I could make it through! All I had to do was believe that I could do it too!

I participated in the bobsled combine on August 8, 2015 in Greenville, South Carolina. I received the second highest score, men and women combined. The events that were performed were: 15, 30, and 45 meter sprint; Flying 30 meter sprint; 12 pound shot put toss; Standing long jump. I didn’t perform as well as I’d like to, but I finally took the time out to tell myself, “You did it. You did a great Job”. From this day, the real journey began! I’ve been invited back to the Olympic training center on three different occasions: Rookie Push Camp, Push Championships, and National Team Trials! As of now, I will be racing on the North America’s Cup in Calgary, Canada and Whistler, Canada!

Making this team is very important to me as an athlete, wife, mother, teacher, and mentor. I want to be one of my son’s biggest hero’s and I want to continue to encourage moms! Having a kid is always a blessing. I use my family and my students as motivation. Never let your current situations, determine your future. If you want it bad enough and you work hard enough..You can and you will….Be great!

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