Olympic Bobsled Team Named Tomorrow; McGuffie a Strong Contender

Submitted by BursleyHall82 on January 14th, 2018 at 9:15 AM

The men's U.S. Olympic bobsled team will be announced tomorrow morning, and as far as I can tell, Sam McGuffie is a strong contender to make the team.

Shockingly, there's not much of a bobsled media in the U.S., so there isn't much out there to analyze this, but it appears McGuffie has been doing well on the World Cup circuit this winter. He took first place at a World Cup race in November, and that can't hurt his chances.

So, the question is: Would McGuffie be the first former Michigan football player to compete in a Winter or Summer Olympics? I can't think of another one.

Willis Ward would have surely made the 1936 Olympic Team as a track athlete if he hadn't given up on sports in the wake of the Georgia Tech incident, but I can't think of another football player who competed in the Olympics.

[EDIT: As Alton points out below, there was a Michigan football player named John McLean who won a silver medal in the hurdles in the 1900 Paris Olympics. So McGuffie would apparently be the first Michigan football Olympian in 118 years.]

Wishing you good luck tomorrow, Sam.



January 14th, 2018 at 9:26 AM ^

John McLean (from Menominee) played halfback for Michigan's football team from 1897 to 1899, was a first team All-American in 1899, and won a silver medal in the 110 meter hurdles at the Paris Olympics in 1900.  He finished 6th in the long jump and did not place in the triple jump.




January 14th, 2018 at 10:03 AM ^

Willis Ward was a star football player/athlete at U of M in the early 30s. In 1934, Georgia Tech threatened not to take the field in their game against us if Ward, who was black, played. His good friend/teammate Gerald Ford nearly quit the team over it until Ward convinced him not to, and in the end U of M decided to bench Ward for the game.


January 14th, 2018 at 3:27 PM ^

A Canadian Jesse Lumsden also made this moved to bobsled from RB. He wasn't good enough to hack it in the info and didn't want try another position.
Sam story is inspiring because he simply couldn't risk football but still had a desire to be great. Love it, and will be cheering for him to have a long successful career.. travelling Europe and living well, perhaps not with the same financial rewards.