Bartlesville native Mickey Dollens has had an amazing journey since his days with the Bruins. He was a two-star recruit coming out of high school and played college football for SMU. He's now chasing a dream to represent the stars and stripes in the Olympics.
"As and athlete the pinnacle of athletic achievement are the Olympics." Dollens said , "And to be able to represent your country and to have the support of your friends and family and everyone else in this country means a whole lot."
Several Olympians call Oklahoma home. Including gold medal winners in summer sports like wrestling, gymnastics track and basketball. But Mickey went a different route.
"One of my trainers had mentioned there was an open tryout for the USA Bobsled team. I grew up around racing. I loved that whole competitiveness of coming down to hundredths of a second. There's no better way to put you in the moment. So I knew I wanted to be a racer. I knew I wanted to do something in racing and whenever bobsledding came around it was the perfect opportunity."
For the past three years, Mickey has been training in Europe as part of the US Bobsled team. He says in his role as a Pusher, he uses some of the same skills he learned on the football field.
"I push about 40 meters. Jump in and then the third and fourth guy get in. My legs, my toes are tucked in underneath the drivers seat. And I'm curled up in a ball and I don't see anything going down. We all have our heads down. The only person that can see anything is the driver.
It was about my third time down the track that I realized that I wasn't even opening my eyes. Then I got a little more comfortable with it and then you can feel what it's like to go around the turns.
The experience is like, I've been told flying a fighter jet. We pull up to five G's going around some of the turns.
The thrill of getting down and performing well and enjoying that with your teammates is unlike another."
Unfortunately Mickey's team didn't make the games in Sochi, but he's not giving up on his Olympic dream.
"If they need an alternate in the future I'd be happy to. Right now Olympic lifting is my passion."
The transition from bobsledding should be a smooth one. The lifting techniques used to train for the sled are the same one's he'll compete in as an Olympic lifter. But he still knows it won't be easy.
"My first goal for Olympic weight lifting is to win the Oklahoma state championship. My grandpa was the first Mr. Oklahoma body builder. My dad won a state championship, two of them, in power lifting. Now I want to win the state championship in Olympic lifting. Then after that it will be the nationals. And then from there, 2016 in Rio. But I have to take them in steps. I've got to win competitions at the state level, then in the national level and then in the world level."
Steps that have taken him from the field, to the ice, to the mats and that he hopes will take him to the Olympic games.
Mickey isn't just an athlete. He's also an author. Back in September he published a book called "Recruit Yourself." It teaches high school athletes how to get college scholarships.
He would also encourage anyone who has a dream to be an Olympian to seek out a combine and give it a shot. You can find out more about that and his book by clicking here.
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