LENEXA, Kan. - An Olympic hopeful is training in Kansas, preparing for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Anna Nostrant, a brakeman on the bobsled, is working with Joseph Potts of TopSpeed Strength and Conditioning in Lenexa, Kan.
Nostrant is currently on the development team for the National Bobsled and Skeleton Federation; but competing in the Olympics is a fairly recent dream for her.
“I'm from Southern Utah, I don't know what an ice track is,” Nostrant said.
After playing volleyball at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Nostrant was considering her options. A friend was playing volleyball in Europe and Nostrant was wondering if she should pursue the same thing.
That’s when she received an email from Elana Meyers, a member of Team USA, currently competing in the Sochi Winter Games.
Nostrant had caught the attention of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation after she won a weight lifting award in college.
Meyers encouraged Nostrant to attend a camp to learn more about the bobsled. Nostrant decided to give it a shot.
“They did these sled push camps where they just taught you this is how you push a sled as a brakeman,’” Nostrant said. “When I walked away after my first day, I called my mom and I said, ‘Mom, this is the awesome-est thing I think I've ever done.’”
Since there is no ice track to train on in the Kansas City area, Nostrant is focusing on her body, whipping it into shape so she can increase her speed.
“She's 30, 40, 50 pounds lighter than the other girls that are on the squad,” Potts said.
The pair will work on adding 10 pounds of muscle a year over the next three years. Potts said they’ll spend the fourth year getting Nostrant acclimated to the extra weight and refine her technique.
“It's a lot harder to put muscle on those older, more experienced athletes,” he said. “So with her, nutrition is going to be a key as well, in addition to the type of training we'll use.”
Nostrant recognizes the weight will be difficult to gain, but she said it’s essential in order for her to do her part on the bobsled.
“As brakeman in the back, we're kind of like a sandbag, the heavier we are, the better,” Nostrant said. “So I have a lot of weight to put on, in comparison to where everyone else is at.”
While the Olympics wasn’t a dream for her growing up, Nostrant thinks about what it would mean to represent her country in the next Winter Games.
“Just picturing myself, hopefully being in that situation…in that position in four years,” she said. “There's a lot of stuff that needs to happen to get there, but dreaming that someday that could be me walking out in those opening ceremonies and that could be me, racing for a chance at a gold medal.”
Like many athletes, Nostrant is counting on sponsors and donors to support her Olympic journey. She has a PayPal account set up for anyone who would like to help her.