After graduating from the University of Florida in 2000, where the scholarship decathlete earned a degree in exercise and sport science, Mesler wasn’t ready to let go of his athletic career just yet. The Buffalo, N.Y. native reached out to the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation (USBSF) and attended bobsled tryouts in San Diego in June 2001.”My guts hurt, but I had a huge smile on my face,” Mesler says of his first trip down the track.
Mesler made his national team debut during the 2001-02 season and was named as an alternate for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. But his proper Olympic debut came in Torino, where he finished seventh in Todd Hays’ four-man sled. Upon the conclusion of the 2006 Games and four seasons with Hays, Mesler moved on to Steve Holcomb’s four-man squad.
The “Night Train”
In the “Night Train,” Mesler occupies the third and “trickiest” slot, as it requires a bit of finesse when managing the balance and the speed of the sled. Mesler, who is the team’s fastest member, keeps this in control as he enters the sled after pushing from the start. During the 2009 World Championships in Lake Placid, Mesler helped push the “Night Train” to the first world title for the U.S. men in half a century. They also claimed the four-man bobsled World Cup title for the first time in 17 years for the U.S. and the overall 2010 World Cup crown the following season. Heading into the Vancouver Games, Team Holcomb is the medal favorite.
Mesler says he’s “just a Buffalo kid” who grew up playing hockey and soccer. His parents are Ben and Lois. He also has one sister, Leigh, who ran track for one year while attending the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2002, Mesler has resided in Calgary, for he thought it was an ideal place to train, but after awhile it felt like home. “I love everything about the city, the mountains, living close to the river and especially the people” Mesler says.Each Fridays we will be be profiling a notable Niagara Falls native. If you would like to suggest a person to be features in our Famous Friday post, please email us at email@example.com