Former UWEC Athlete Aims for 2014 Olympics

Brent Widmark

UWEC graduate Lauri Bausch is a nomad in the world of competitive athletics. Bausch says she has participated in 12 sports at a competitive level, most significantly the women’s rugby club team at UWEC. While doing an internship last fall at New York’s Lake Placid Olympic Training Center, Bausch stumbled upon her most recent athletic endeavor: bobsledding. Immediately after Bausch dipped her toes into the world of bobsled and skeleton racing, she was hooked, and by January she plunged headfirst into a training schedule that she hopes will see her skimming the ice in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Though a mostly foreign activity around these parts, most of us know about bobsledding (Cool Runnings, anyone?), but skeleton racing is a newer addition to the Olympic realm, and involves sliding down a bobsled or luge track head first, on your stomach, on a sleigh without brakes or steering. The Ferdonia, Wisconsin, native will travel to Lake Placid again in August for combine testing and then will tryout for the US national team in October. Her goal is to race in one of several competitive circuits, and then participate in the World Cup each year leading up to the 2014 Olympics. Her goals obviously require loads of time and effort, but also pretty hefty financial backing. Currently Bausch is looking to raise money to afford a custom-fit sled, a speed suit, helmet, other equipment, and travel expenses – all things considered, more than $5,000. So keep an eye out for her local fundraising efforts before she leaves in May, and root for her when you catch the next Olympis games!