Skip to comments.Navy Bobsled Team
Posted on 02/14/2014 11:10:00 AM PST by paterfamilias
As a kid, I remember watching the Army and Navy bobsled teams competing at Lake Placid on ABC Wide World of Sports.
Check out this link:
Is this all these guys did? Train for bobsledding?
I’d think that fit a description of ‘professional’ vs. “amateur” especially if their income was soley derived from the military in pursuit of Olympic Gold.
“Is this all these guys did? Train for bobsledding?
Id think that fit a description of professional vs. amateur especially if their income was soley derived from the military in pursuit of Olympic Gold.”
I didn’t really think about it whan I was a kid. But, in retrospect, it was the Cold War. We competed with the Ruskis everywhere: in Berlin, space, and in the Olympics.
I understand. But as a child of the 50s I remember we, collectively always condemned professional being inserted into the Olympics. This was primarily at USSR state-supported athletes, but seeing the video here with the Navy bobsledders, how was this any different?
I understand. But as a child of the 50s I remember we, collectively, always condemned professional being inserted into the Olympics. This was primarily at USSR state-supported athletes, but seeing the video here with the Navy bobsledders, how was this any different?
In 1982, I grossed $8,000 as an E-1 and E-2. In 1983, I grossed $9,000 as an E-3. In 1984, I grossed $10,000 as an E-4. I had a wife and child. I lived off post. It was the bleakest financial situation I’ve ever been in.
I was assigned to the US Army Parachute Team, “The Golden Knights” upon successfully completing try outs and by selection of the try out cadre. I was on orders from the DOD. My job skill coming into the Army, was heavy drop parachute rigger. On the USAPT, I was a precision freefall parachutist, and commonly referred to as a demonstrator, as opposed to others on the team that were competitors in the parachuting disciplines of the day. I had to maintain proficiency in my MOS while on the team. I could be sent back to a line unit on DOD’s command, at any time, should the need arise. I skydived my butt off the whole time I was on the team. That was my job.
The team has a memorial hall dedicated to those killed in the line of duty; both while on the team, and while deployed downrange. This is what makes a military athlete’s job assignment so unique, unlike an amateur or professional civilian athlete. The financial status of military athlete’s does not improve by the participation in one’s respective athletic discipline. It is in fact- forbidden.
A civilian Olympic athlete isn’t going to be deployed downrange in the middle of their training or career. A military athlete is first and foremost a soldier, sailor, airman or marine. Then, they are defined by their job skill, and lastly, by their temporary duty assignment.
We could not receive nor accept compensation from any source other than our military pay. We were as professional as is humanely possible, in carrying out our military assignments. We didn’t “turn pro” by “making the team”. Being professional, versus “going pro”, is distinctively different in meaning.
The members of the subject bobsled team were on military orders; assigned to the team. Amateur in their financial status, and professional in the application of their skills.
First off, I appreciate your service. I served from 1968 until 1976.
If you want to compare pay scales, mine on entering was about $94 a month. Even then when I mustered out, it was just under $600/month as an E-5. You don’t even know what ‘bleak’ is until your wife has to follow a truck laden with potatoes with a year-old baby in the pram hoping one or two or three would fall of it as mine did on the English cobblestone streets. Go Google pay scales for then and you’ll see.
That said. What you got paid for service is immaterial IMO. I certainly endured financial hardship during mine.
Parachute team and all that aside, what does that have to do with differentiation between “professional” and “amateur” (amateur being the operative “Olympic” word here)?
Line of duty and other descriptions aren’t appropriate here IMO. Nor are memorials, frankly, even though I am in no way trying to minimize the sacrifice. What do I know? I only served 8 years, seven of them out of this country.
My comment was based on the norms of what we heard from our government in the 50s, 60s, and even the 70s, and my perception of the ‘team’ as reported.