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Friday, Feb. 19: Ready to go

About Nicholas Kohn and Marissa Heiser

Nicholas is the younger brother of Olympic bobsledder and bronze medalist Mike Kohn, who is competing in the two-man and four-man bobsled in these Olympics. Originally from West Columbia, S.C, Nicholas currently resides in New York City where he is an actor in the Tony Award winning Broadway Musical Avenue Q. Marissa is a singer/actress, writer and stand up comedian living in New York City. She is no stranger to winter sports herself as she is originally from Layton, Utah. Nicholas & Marissa met 10 years ago while performing together in summer stock theatre in Cape Cod, Mass. Last year they fell in love, and enjoy running, playing with dogs, and making each other laugh.

Feb. 19

I'll never forget the first time I saw a live bobsled race. Winter. Lake Placid. 1991. It was cold. REALLY cold. I wondered what kind of person would go out in that weather, let alone race a sled down an ice track at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour wearing nothing but a tight spandex bodysuit. My crazy brother, Mike Kohn the Olympian, has been doing it for 20 years.

We were born in Columbia, S.C., far from the icy slopes of Lake Placid, Salt Lake City and Vancouver. Our family eventually relocated to Chantilly, Va., where Mike was an all-star football and track athlete in high school. Soon after high school, he was recruited by John Philbin to join the U.S. Bobsled Team. Philbin, who was the strength and conditioning coach of the Washington Redskins at the time, saw great potential in Mike.

I was 13 when Mike started racing. My family was constantly trekking up to Lake Placid to see him slide. He won a bronze medal in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics as a pusher for Brian Shimer's four-man sled. He switched to driving the sled shortly thereafter. He qualified for thse Games in the final hour of the World Cup tour. We are simply in awe of his persistence, sportsmanship and most of all, his passion for the sport. We are so proud of him and his accomplishments.

My family and friends are all traveling to Vancouver this weekend to see him compete in his second Olympics. We are filled with such joy and excitement and we’re thrilled to be sharing a piece of that with The Sun News readers. My girlfriend Marissa and I are writing this blog while we are in Vancouver this next week. She is new to the sport but is already hooked. We fly out Saturday morning at 6 a.m. to catch his first race Saturday evening. We are praying for fast ice and safe runs. More to come. Stay tuned Kohn fans! Go Team Kohn!

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