Olympic Size Logistic Challenges
How to move 10,000 pounds of bobsled equipment
A lot of training and planning goes into competing in the Olympics, not to mention moving 10,00 pounds of bobsled gear across the globe. For nearly 20 years, JRC has been a proud supporter the USA Bobsled & Skeleton team, transporting equipment to events throughout North America. This year the U.S. bobsled team is competing in the winter games in PYEONGCHANG, South Korea. While we enjoy watching all the premiere athletes compete in the Olympic games, we often don’t realize all that goes on behind the scenes in order to get there.
There are hours and hours of training of course but there are also hours and hours of planning in order to make everything run as smoothly as possible. Lenny Kasten, the national team manager for USA Bobsled & Skeleton does the unimaginable. He coordinates the logistics involved in getting all the athletes, their gear, and roughly 10,000 pounds of heavy equipment that the team needs to perform at the highest level. A recent USA Today article about the team added some behind the scenes perspective in regard to the preparation and planning involved.
“Bobsled is interesting to watch, but it’s very quick,” said Lenny Kasten “The hours and hours of preparation before and after is incredible. It is a little bit complicated, but we’ve done this for a long time.”
To give you an idea of what it looks like: The bobsled competition which began this past weekend and continues this week (Please join us in cheering TeamUSA on). Before one bobsled hits the track, somewhere in a parking lot near the Alpensia Sliding Center, were 11 crates for Team USA that measure four feet high by four feet wide by 13 feet long. Before every event, those crates are packed with the nine Team USA sleds for both men and women, several different kinds of runners specific to each sled that could be needed depending on the track conditions, an entire garage worth of tools and spare parts and even a full gym.
“We travel with an incredible amount of stuff,” said driver Jamie Greubel Poser, who won the bronze medal in Sochi. “It takes us about 30 minutes to put it together in a giant puzzle and fit it all in, and everything has to fit a very specific way. But because we do it so often, we’ve become good at it. We’re pretty much expert packers and movers.”
Everything needs to be very synchronized, from the time the crates are dropped off at a U.S. airport, to plan for their arrival at foreign airports, the customs process on pick-up, to opening the crates and putting the contents onto specifically made cargo vans designed for bobsleds (including a longer van for the four-man sled). It needs to run like a well-oiled machine and thankfully, most of the time it does.
We are proud to do our small part in supporting the TeamUSA and wish the bobsled team all the best as they compete this week. When the Olympics are over, the team will pack up the 10,000 pounds worth of equipment in those 11 crates again and head back to Lake Placid, N.Y. We look forward welcoming them home after a long journey, hopefully with some medals.