Olympic Bobsledder Used to Be Homeless

Bill Schuffenhauer reveals his difficult past before he became an Olympic athlete.

Olympic Bobsledder Used to Be Homeless

Bill Schuffenhauer reveals his difficult past before he became an Olympic athlete.

-Faye Brennan

bobsledder

U.S. Olympic bobsledder Bill Schuffenhauer will compete in the four-man bobsledding competition on Friday, but it was a long road for him to get to this spot.

Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, Bill lived with his parents who were both drug addicts, and his mother was a prostitute. He would watch her get beat up in their own house, that is, if they weren’t getting evicted.

With nowhere to go, Bill would sleep in the park and rummage through garbage cans to find something to eat. He jumped between foster homes for awhile until he was put in juvenile detention for breaking into a bike shop to steal something he could sell for money.

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Things didn’t turn around until Bill’s maternal grandmother stepped in and took care of him in her home in Roy, Utah. She was the one Bill credits for pushing him to be better than his past. He started doing better in school and became a track and field star because of his incredible running ability.

He went off to college, but an ankle injury impaired him from running track. That’s when he discovered bobsledding, and the rest of the story led him to where he is today, competing as a bobsledding pusher at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Do they give out gold medals for overcoming the worst childhood? Or how about one for the best grandma of all-time? (CNN)

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