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Messages - hgeek23

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: May 14, 2021, 09:13:33 AM »
How are things coming along?

Training hard. The chances of making the games are quite high but unfortunately we just have now the same issues that have always been the concern. Funds.

In 4 months I will need to raise an enormous amount and it's just not the reality that the team is a priority for people or companies. I'm concerned. We're at the doorstep but we can't open the door without the right pieces.

I head to Israel in about a month for a combine for the athletes, one of a few to see who might be priority for the Olympic team. I'm excited, we have 9 terrific athletes lined up. But here too is an issue in that ideally we'd take the top 5 of them to placid in September/October and see which of them gelled well with the setting and team (many people quit after day 1 in a sled so we can't just take 3,) but telling athletes to quit their jobs to do something dangerous and not certain of their placements or qualification, without any kind of financial support just isn't really an appealing option for many.

Training in California this week and next then back to New York for training another few weeks and Israel the week of the 20th of June. I miss my country and it hurts to be outside of it at this time of need.

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: March 20, 2021, 09:03:02 PM »
Wow, wow, wow!
Fantastic update, these accomplishment are huge and monumental!
It is really beautiful and inspiring to see where things are now, as you put it-consodering where things were 6 months ago.
Lots and lots of Hatzalcha going forward to clinch this!

אמן!

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: March 19, 2021, 10:10:37 AM »
https://mailchi.mp/8a7c0a81f8de/a-historic-season

Sent out an email to the supporters--link above, a brief season's recap.
Also copied below albeit without accompanying pictures.

To my very wonderful friends and supporters,

The 2020/21 season has now come to a close and what an absolutely historic season it has been, setting multiple Israeli records and setting new standards in Israeli Bobsleigh.  Our placements this season included 2 noteworthy achievements:
--Israel’s first ever bobsleigh podium in an international competition
--Highest ever placement for an Israeli bobsleigh team in an IBSF-calendar competition
Our performance as a team was also something to take extreme pride in. By season’s end, we had established ourselves as worthy competition against the Olympic silver medalist on his home track (more below about the Korea Cup.)

I’d like to stress that all of the team’s accomplishments are Israel’s accomplishments, and yours as well. If you are receiving this email, you were a part of the journey.  As an (extended) member of the team, I hope you can share in our pride.  This season has cemented the confidence in our prospects. We stand the greatest chance since the original Israeli bobsleigh team 15 years ago of earning Israel an Olympic berth.

It’s been a long while since I provided an update. In that time, a full season has gone by.
November-February:
Training this season exclusively took place at the Alpensia Olympic Sliding Center, a return to the track where I last competed on behalf of Israel. In 2018, following the Olympic Games here in PyeongChang, I felt compelled for a number of reasons (a couple of ones having to do with the experience at the Games in PyeongChang,) to leave sliding sport and work for the team in other roles.  At the time, I believed that this was the last time I might have the opportunity to wear our flag, and it was an emotional farewell.

It seemed fitting to continue the journey at this very track.  But the only thing that truly mattered was what was optimal for the team's success, and in that regard there was absolutely no question—no other location in the world could provide what PyeongChang could.  Any teams stuck in the United States would be greatly limited in their ability to develop.  Outside of a few competitions there was almost no training available to international teams and no facilities to take advantage of. In contrast, PyeongChang remained open the entire season to international teams, of which we were one of only two (Australia being the other).  By season’s end we had taken more training runs (over 200) than any other bobsleigh team in the world not situated at their home track.  The run volume was invaluable—the only means of improving during the season is to get on ice, and there was not a day we missed.   

We were also fortunate to have world class facilities available to us—one of only a few functioning “ice-houses” (a practice indoor starting facility to improve the sprinting start) is located in PyeongChang and was available for use, as was a gym. The team trained and developed in both the 2-man and 4-man bobsleigh discipline.  The physical toll is brutal on the athletes and training daily in 4-man is not possible due to injury risk, so we switched often, taking more runs in the 2-man to keep our push-athletes fresh. We also received excellent coaching from 2 coaches available to us in PyeongChang—Heath Spence (2014 Olympian, 2-man and 4-man, Australia) and Dorin Grigoire (2018, Romania.)

I recorded a front-and-back POV (point-of-view) video in the 4-man so you can hear and see what I do on the run—it’s a minute long and I highly suggest watching if you haven’t had the opportunity to see a run before.

February-March—Training and Competition, history made:
Early February brought on our first international competition at the Horizon’s Cup in PyeongChang.  Although originally billed as an IBSF-sanctioned event, due to a delay in the organizers filing paperwork, it was eventually determined not to be included on the IBSF calendar.  It was considered an international competition with teams from Korea, Vietnam, and Israel, but it did not count towards one of our Olympic requirements.

Bobsleigh is considered to be essentially Formula-1 racing on ice.  A good analogy is that even the best racing driver can’t win a formula one race in a Toyota Prius. A monumental contributor to results is equipment, of which competitive equipment is prohibitively expensive, especially for our team in the 2-man discipline.  We had been training in a rented 13 year old 2-man sled with a massive crack in both sides of the fiberglass, resulting in large speed losses, and with runners (essentially our tires) that were way too sharp for the weather.  Our goal was to show what we could do against the best given the tools we had to work with, and I cannot overstate how proud I am of the team’s results. The team came together beautifully during the event, securing a historic first for Israel Bobsleigh: a podium finish in an international competition with a Silver in the first event, ahead of another Korean team on home track.

Bolstered by this result the team trained hard for the Korea Cup in March, which was placed on the IBSF calendar and doubled as the National Team Selection Races for Korea. The top 3 teams in the competition were the top 3 teams for Korea, including the reigning Olympic Silver medalist Yunjong Won.  Our goal was to finish as close to Yunjong as possible.  Putting down a good result relative to the world’s best would put Israel on the radar, so to speak, and I’m proud to say we did just that. In the race we finished 2.4 seconds over 2 runs behind Yunjong, a monumental result, and a placement higher than any other Israeli bobsleigh team (4 of 8) in an IBSF competition in history.  We placed ahead of a Korean team and both Vietnamese teams.  It was an incredible boost for a team that only 6 months ago was looking like it might not come together. This competition closed out the competitive season and we have now officially entered the offseason.

What’s next?  When is the qualification season?  What else is necessary?
We have from now until October to improve in all of the ways we can off the ice.  For the athletes, this means pushing faster and better.  Sprinting and lifting is the name of the game. For the team as a whole, this means a host of things that need to be secured.
-finances
-team managers
-equipment
-coaches
Through generous support of individuals, Toyota and Ariel Property Advisors, the team managed to secure 12% of the budget this season, with 88% unfunded.  This is unsustainable and it is hard to envision a way for the team to have a qualifying season without finding a more complete sponsorship arrangement.  Our equipment cannot keep up and we won’t be able to afford coaching, medical and training care, and logistics.

On the logistics and team management front, I will be searching for a team manager.  It was brutal and exhausting work to manage the team while simultaneously training. For our Olympic qualification season, we will need someone to take care of this more completely.

Equipment-wise, if we find the funds we will attempt to secure more competitive equipment.

Coaching-wise, we will need to find a dedicated coach who can travel with us.

We’ll be based from October onwards largely in North America where we will compete on the North American Cup circuit en route to Beijing qualification.  The competitions will take place November through about January 10th, with the Beijing Games opening on February 4th, 2022.
 
Thank you so very much for being a part of this journey.  The team’s success is Israel’s success and you yourselves are a part of the team. Even simple messages of encouragement go a long way and we really appreciate all the support.

My deepest appreciation,
AJ


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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: March 15, 2021, 11:03:47 AM »
It's fascinating (and really impressive) how much nuance goes into the short ride! To me it looked like a roller coaster - just buckle in and enjoy the ride.

You need to do a bunch in bob! It's definitely a tricky thing. Our steering is secret and learned through a lot of blood and sweat so I've cut out a few things that if someone found could use to a competitive advantage, but left a lot in to help a lay person understand the gist of it. Feel free to ask any questions though of course!

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: March 15, 2021, 09:28:16 AM »
Looking forward! I hope there's no weight limit, because we will all be with you (in our hearts) for the ride...  ;D

Weight limit is 390kg with everyone and the sled for a 2-man bobsleigh :)

Now, as for the corners, from my perspective--
0--the push start: self explanatory--push the sled fast! Get in and settled so you are able to push the lever inside the sled that controls the push bar in time.  Grab the steering rings inside before the end of the "grooves" in the ice end and you are headed into corner 1.

1--left handed curve, 1 pressure--dont want to go in too much to the left here, if you do you'll end up going around the corner too much and you will go too much on the right in 2 which can cause problems.  get into the curve from the middle or right, get out with enough time to push the sled into the second corner on the middle or left side.

2--danger corner! if you do nothing the sled will go on a straight line around the curve as the roof dives down.  you'll intersect with the roof and bam--all sorts of problems.  manipulate the sled to remain parallel with the roof. this is very difficult, get out into curve 3 without smashing the left wall.

3--left to right, one pressure curve.  "generate pressure" to bring you back to the left side entering 4.

4--left to right (same direction as 3, more difficult then to enter correctly,) steer the sled to parallel, looking for the exit as it dives and exit 4 with a cross gradually into 5, without entering 5 pointed up into the curve.

5--right to left, long 2 pressure curve--DANGER curve--can easily flip.  get in, point the sled to parallel and when it comes around the curve dont let it get height at the end or rise up too much.  also don't steer into a dip or you will crash.

6--one pressure left to right--steer this perfectly enough to get a cross into 7 on the right side.

7--left to right, mid-level danger corner, one and a half pressures--manipulate the bounce at the 2/3 points.  if the bounce is too late you can flip on the end--too high you will run onto the wood (we come very close in the POV.)  extremely important to cross from right to left and enter 8 on the left enough.

8. Left to right, 2 pressures--DANGER CORNER--get in on the left side, manipulate the sled to parallel and dont let it take too much height or you can drop down and rise back up on the end, flipping.  get out of the corner and cross into the next corner on the right side.

9. Right to left, no way to properly explain this one, it sucks and it's hard and no one gets it perfect.  Steer in it the way you need to and pray.  don't let it come down too early.  Get out you're going to hit 95% of the time or more.

10/11 are in the "chicane" or what is a non-straight straight.  10 is on the right, hit that one, 11 is on the left most of the way down, hit that too but make sure to hit it while parallel to the wall.  head into 12 however you enter--you can't steer appropriately in a straight.

12--right to left, long 2 pressure, DANGER corner--sled will jump in, make sure it doesn't go anywhere drastic, let it run it's course midway through the curve, on the end is the difficulty, you want to get into the next corner with a nice cross, but without hitting the wall before 13.  manipulate the height on the end to do so.  we have a nice cross in the POV.

13--left to right, 1 pressure, want to generate pressure in this curve to pull you back into 14 similar to [3 to 4].  dont let the sled rise on the end of the curve, and keep it off the left wall before 14.

14--Left to right, 2 pressure DANGER corner--you hit max speed here--get in, point the sled parallel and away from the roof, letting it do it's thing.  on the end you want to manipulate it so it doesnt come back onto the curve and flip over as it's ending.  get out of the curve with a cross into 15 and pointed not too much towards the 15 roof.

15.  right to left, 1 pressure, going to hurt your breakman if you don't go in parallel.  the sled will go way high and abruptly as well.  get in, turn the sled so it doesn't go to the roof, and do what you can to get off the corner without skidding uphill which will kill your speed. avoid hitting the right or left walls, which i tap the right in the POV into 16.

16--Left to right, 3 pressures, just don't let the sled flip here on the end, but steer as little as possible, the finish line is just after it!

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: March 11, 2021, 11:02:21 AM »
Awesome! We need some running commentary. Looks like a great run, biggest struggle coming out of turn 9 - can you explain what happened?

Absolutely! I'll provide a full commentary after the race tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.
AJ

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: February 27, 2021, 07:07:43 PM »
+100

Would love to try! Do you pick up hitchhikers?  ;)

Haha yep! But I'm in Korea at the moment and need someone for March 12-30. American hitchhikers are out of luck for now :p

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: February 25, 2021, 02:12:46 PM »
Think you'll enjoy this.


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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: February 18, 2021, 01:17:58 PM »
So I’ve been looking for a video on what the actual experience is.


Whistler!

Some footage from today:


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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: February 02, 2021, 11:05:03 AM »
OMG.
It's one thing when things aren't so hard, just a bit challenging and not going smoothly when you persevere and keep the we will do it attitude.
But when you so honestly and in such a raw way spell out the real really hard challenges, and STILL keep up that we will do it attitude, OMG, WOW! Speechless!
Keep on inspiring us and bring home the victory!

Israel must make it. Israel will make it.

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: February 01, 2021, 08:33:11 AM »
Just had captured a few thoughts


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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: February 01, 2021, 12:58:44 AM »
+1
I've been thinking the same.
Hope all is ok!

I'm very sorry that the last few weeks haven't had an update. Things have been harder than I thought they'd get to.

We had a couple of articles come out about the team. One in the New York Times that focused on the brain injury aspects of things and one in algemeiner which was quite nice.  The team has grown by leaps and bounds and gets faster every day. We are making huge progress and it's in many ways beyond what I thought I could see. I'm very proud of that.

Things get difficult on the road, but here things have just been mentally very tough. Our (my) bank account hit absolute zero and the season's only half over, which is obviously a source of stress but the biggest source has been managing the team. Depression has been something I have dealt with for 19 years--it's a life's mission of mine to talk to kids about how it motivates me, but it can make things really tough and in this circumstance it has. Nonetheless it hasn't actually impeded development, probably the opposite. But it burns the internal candle quite fast, and thankfully Israel and the mission is the oil that replenishes.

The Olympics require an immense, 24/7/365 dedication to a goal that is generally unobtainable. Being a very average athlete, below average I might say by Olympic standards, the only way to ever get Israel to the Games has been to work harder than anyone else. No matter what my athletic shortcomings, knowing that I outworked even the world champions gave immense pleasure and confidence. But that takes a toll, and the toll becomes very difficult to keep on top of if not everyone is pulling their weight. At the moment that is the largest issue, and one which ultimately means the team makeup might not be the same in the Olympic season.  That's all I can really say at the moment, but it's been crushing.

The self doubt has set in as it usually does on an Olympic run. "I'm not where I could be, I could be better," are constant thoughts. Bobsled is hard. Grueling. Physically it's exhausting. But I firmly believe Israel will benefit and that this will happen. I know it strongly in my heart. I just need to work harder and get better. At the end of the day the only thing that matters is the result. There's no "almost made the" Olympic Games event.

Usually I'm far more cheerful, but that's where things have been and why I've been quite quiet recently. I honestly don't know how the team will financially make it through at the moment and that's a really tough one.

Thank you for caring and being supportive. It means the world.
AJ

P. S. Since the first crash, in the 75 or so runs since, not a single crash

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: December 21, 2020, 06:12:59 AM »
Back to the top today





Followed by a half push session



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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: December 20, 2020, 11:25:43 AM »
Good to hear you finally have some more company!
Love the attitude of persevering despite the challenges. Keep it up!
Thanks so much!

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: December 20, 2020, 09:37:52 AM »

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: December 15, 2020, 11:28:26 PM »
Sad I missed it.
How did it go?

Decently! I think on fb there is a replay. Also look for a piece on the team in a coming soon in a major publication  ;D

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: December 10, 2020, 05:20:04 PM »
@hgeek23 keep it going, the DDFF is rooting for you. Love your updates.

Much appreciated. I'm only truly sad the koenigsee lighting tradition will be broken this year. It is something I'm so proud of.

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: December 10, 2020, 07:37:00 AM »

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Just Shmooze / Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
« on: December 08, 2020, 11:11:13 AM »

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