In honor of the beginning of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, iHire would like to introduce a handful of the competitors for Team USA. From classical guitarists to market analysts, cancer survivors to US Army veterans, and real estate agents to roller derby players, the Olympians who make up Team USA represent a diverse mix of what our nation has to offer.
Let their stories inspire you to follow your own dreams and cheer for them as they compete against the rest of the world in South Korea!
Jessica Kooreman – Short Track Speedskater, Real Estate Agent: Kooreman will be competing in her second Winter Olympic Games and hoping to make the podium after finishing 4th in the 1000m and 6th in the 1500m during the 2014 Sochi games. In addition to working in real estate (she just recently earned her license), Kooreman also volunteers with the Play Well – Play Safe Foundation, which promotes health and wellness through athletics and sport.
Kimani Griffin – Long Track Speedskater, Classical Guitarist: Griffin will be making his Olympics debut in Pyeongchang, but he’s been competing in long track speedskating events since 2010 and started inline skating at the age of seven. He’s also no stranger to pressure. As a classically trained guitarist, Griffin performed on PBS’s “From the Top at Carnegie Hall” when he was just a teenager.
Bryan Fletcher – Nordic Combined Skier, Co-Founder of ccThrive: Fletcher is an inspirational figure. After being diagnosed with leukemia at the age of three, Fletcher faced down childhood cancer, found his passion for ski jumping, and became a three-time US Nordic Combined Champion. While training to compete in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Fletcher met a fellow survivor named Gavin Shamis (currently on track to compete for the US luge team in 2022) and the two formed ccThrive to help other children diagnosed with cancer maintain hope, survive, and thrive.
Steve Langton – Bobsled Crewman, Market Analyst: Langton is one of the most decorated members of the US Bobsled team with two bronze medals from the 2014 Sochi Olympics as well as numerous individual awards from the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USABS). When he’s not racing down a track at 80 mph, Langton works in the marketing department for the Kohler Co.
Mia Manganello – Long Track Speedskater, Professional Cyclist: Manganello’s speedskating career goes all the way back to the 2006–2007 Junior National Championships, where she won three gold medals and one silver. However, after the 2010 Olympic Trials, Manganello decided to turn her attention to another passion: cycling. For three years, she competed on the Visit Dallas/DNA Cycling team as an international competitor before returning to the ice for another shot at Olympic glory.
Hakeem Abdul-Saboor – Bobsled Crewman, Bodybuilder: Abdul-Saboor has been competing as a member of both two-man and four-man bobsledding crews since 2015 and has won multiple medals at North American Cup events. He also regularly participates in amateur bodybuilding competitions with the National Physique Committee.
Lowell Bailey – Biathlon Competitor, Musician: Bailey was the first American in history to win a biathlon world championship at the 2017 IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria. The 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang will be his fourth Winter Olympics, and he has also competed in three Junior World Championships and 11 World Championships. In addition to his athletic exploits, Bailey plays guitar and mandolin, performing with Big Slyde and as a solo act. He also serves as Executive Director of the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center.
Chris Fogt – Bobsled Crewman, 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army: Fogt is looking to add to the bronze medal he earned at the 2014 Sochi Olympics with more hardware in Pyeongchang. Sadly, he’ll have to do it without pilot Steven Holcomb, who tragically passed away last spring at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY. In addition to his position on Team USA, Fogt also serves in the US Army as a Military Intelligence Specialist. Following the 2010 Vancouver Games, he completed a year-long deployment in Iraq.
Sam McGuffie – Bobsled Crewman, Professional Football Player: McGuffie joined the USABS in 2015 and has contributed to gold- and silver-medal-winning crews with legendary pilot Steven Holcomb. Before being introduced to bobsledding, McGuffie played football for the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and New England Patriots of the National Football League as well as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.
Erin Jackson, Long Track Speedskater, Inline Skater, Roller Derby Player, Athlete-Employee with DICK’s Sporting Goods: Jackson became the first African American woman to earn a spot on the US Olympic speed skating team after only four months on the ice. Jackson is also a decorated inline skater who’s been at that sport since she was ten years old. She competes for the Jacksonville Roller Derby team and works for DICK’s Sporting Goods as part of their Contenders Program.