LDS 4-man bobsledder ready for Olympic Games

Published: Thursday, Feb. 25 2010 12:20 a.m. MST

WHISTLER, British Columbia — Chris Fogt was running track for Utah Valley University in Orem when a couple of men approached him and asked him a question that would take his well-planned life in a totally different direction.

__IMAGE1__"After my race, some guys said, 'Hey you're pretty fast. Do you want to try pushing a bobsled?'" the American Fork High graduate recounts. "I didn't know anything at all about the sport."

Which is why his parents were a little surprised he jumped at the chance to give it a try.

"It was kind of out of the blue," said his mom, Janet Fogt. "He was just a track athlete at UVU and then all of a sudden he was trying out for (the U.S.) bobsled team. It was just foreign to us. We were skeptical at first, but we're very happy for him."

The decision to give the strange, new sport a try earned the 26-year-old Mormon a spot on the 2010 U.S. Olympics Team. He pushes for USA-2 and driver John Napier on Friday and Saturday at Whistler Olympics Park for a chance at a medal.

"I always wanted to go to the Olympics," Chris said with a slight smile. "I wanted to go in track and field. I just wasn't quite fast enough."

The former sprinter made the Olympics team in just his second year in the sport.

"Within a year I felt pretty comfortable," he said.

Fogt's family is flying and driving into Vancouver this week so they can watch him compete in the most elite competition there is. For William Fogt, it is a little overwhelming at times to consider that his son, who is

also a member of the U.S. Army's Military Intelligence, is representing his country and his family in such a unique way.

"We didn't know how he would perform when he tried out," William Fogt said. "It's combination of strength and speed. He's always been really strong, too, but we just didn't know. To compete at a world level, you always wonder does your son have what it takes? It's been a pretty humbling enterprise to tell you the truth."

William Fogt is a retired military man who tried to instill certain values in his children that would help them succeed and be happy.

"We've always tried to help Christopher to be grounded in humility, hard work and faith," William Fogt said. "Even if you have success. He's tried to be a good example and be a good missionary to his teammates."

Fogt enjoyed working with the missionaries when he was training in Lake Placid, N.Y., his father said. And he is grateful for the opportunities his athletic ability has given him to be a role model for young people.

"Christopher was in the top 4 percent of ROTC cadets," his father said. "He's always been at the top. I know it's because of his faith and his relationship with the Lord that he's been able to do all of that. To be at the top, like this, I think he's humbled by that, too. I think he knows how he got there."

William and Janet Fogt will follow the example of their son, who served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines, when they arrive in Canada on Thursday.

"We plan to do a little missionary work in Whistler," William Fogt, a former Church Educational System institute teacher, said as he and his wife drove through Washington state. "We'll just use the spirit and try to share the gospel. It's an unbelievable experience. We're just going to go out and plant seeds. You never know."

"We've never been to the Olympics," Janet Fogt said. "We're just excited to watch him. He is having a wonderful time. It's a chance of a lifetime to be in the Olympics."

Chris Fogt's family has always been a little concerned about the dangers of bobsledding, but those concerns were amplified when a 21-year-old luge athlete from the Republic of Georgia was killed in a training run on

the track the day before Opening Ceremonies.

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