Alexandra Burghardt adjusted her new Winter Olympics outfit in a resort a number of miles away from the bobsledding observe within the mountains outdoors Beijing.
“Generally I really feel like a double agent,” she mentioned. “Two lives to deal with.”
In August, Burghardt was operating the 100 meters within the blazing warmth of the Summer season Olympics in Tokyo. Six months later, she has discovered herself in subzero temperatures in China, suiting up for the bobsled within the Winter Video games.
On Saturday night time in Yanqing, she discovered herself with a silver medal round her neck, standing on a podium together with her teammate and bobsled pilot, Mariama Jamanka.
She joins an extended line of sprinters turned bobsledders, runners whose explosive velocity and energy on the observe can translate to the ice. However this summer-to-winter Olympic whiplash was excessive. The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed a 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic and held in July and August, six months earlier than the beginning of the Beijing Video games. Burghardt is likely one of the few athletes who will compete in each — two Olympics in lower than a 12 months.
For Burghardt, the turnaround was much more disorienting, on condition that she hadn’t even considered competing in a Winter Video games till September.
The German bobsled federation had lengthy courted Burghart, 27, certainly one of Germany’s quickest sprinters, hoping she might be the most recent observe star to push a bobsledding workforce to a gold medal. “All of us knew her,” mentioned Rene Spies, the top coach of the German bobsled workforce.
She politely declined for years. “Oh yeah, the German bobsled federation has wished for it for a very long time,” Burghardt mentioned. “I’m fairly tall and quick and that’s precisely what they want for an excellent brakewoman, however I needed to get on with my precise sport first and attempt to attain my full potential earlier than beginning on a brand new journey.”