TODAY

TODAY   |  February 03, 2014

US bobsledder: It’s like the 'craziest roller coaster’

Members of the men’s U.S. Olympic bobsled team join Matt Lauer in Sochi, Russia, to talk about the upcoming Games, and the rush they feel while speeding in a sled.  “It’s like the fastest, craziest roller coaster that you could ever find in an amusement park,” says one.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> countdown stands at three days until the competition begins. and here's a question for you. do you remember who won the four-man bobsled gold in vancouver ? do you remember?

>> i have a good idea.

>> yeah. because you won it. two members of the famed night trainer steve holcomb and joining him this time around, steve . good to have all of you here. you have a history in vancouver . you won the gold medal , that's the good news. the bad news, you made history in vancouver , you won the gold medal so now all the pressure is on you this time, steve . how do you feel about that?

>> i'm really confident. three great flights coming in. i've got three incredible athletes behind for the push and i'm four years more experience. and, you know, having that experience and being prepared, takes a lot of that pressure off.

>> the mountains are just behind you guys over there. that's where the venues are. talk to me about the track. how different are tracks all around the world?

>> every track in the world is different. you know, the average 14 to 20 curves about a mile long, each track is different. the drivers have to prepare different as well as the push athletes.

>> how much time do you get to prepare on this track at sochi before the actual competition begins?

>> i think we've had 36 runs so far. so we get --

>> that's over the course of what period of time?

>> maybe last four years.

>> four years?

>> 36 trips. we've got four more, probably saturday and then it's time to roll.

>> yeah. and there are people obviously that are going to watch this, steve , they're going to say this is mind boggling to watch, the speeds at some tracks get over 90 miles an hour. here, it's about 85 miles an hour. for people who will never get the chance to sit in the bobsled as it hurritles down, compare it to something.

>> i'd say it's like the fastest, craziest roller coaster you could ever find in an amusement park .

>> no seat belts .

>> no seat belts , no padding, couple of handles and fiberglass.

>> there are times, and some of you know about this, that you end up -- how shall i say it? not upright on the course.

>> yep.

>> trying to avoid the word "crash." what is a crash like?

>> it's tough. you're out of control. and i'm still watching. so i can see the corner still coming at me at 85 miles an hour, but there's nothing i can do about it. it's a little frustrating. they're not watching the start with it.

>> it burns kind of.

>> it burns like ice --

>> yeah. friction.

>> the world's worst --

>> why are we talking about it?

>> i don't know.

>> stop it.

>> terrible idea.

>> competition gets underway when?

>> i think the 17th, 18th.

>> all right. good luck.

>> two-man, four-man.

>> great expectations. a lot of confidence. and we have confidence in you guys. thanks so much for being here.

>> appreciate it.