Students in the Broome-Tioga BOCES auto body repair program don't normally get to work on bobsleds at school. But this week, they are getting a very special opportunity to do just that. The students are helping put together the bobsled for the Australian Olympic team. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us what kind of work they're doing.
DICKINSON, N.Y. -- Auto body repair students at Broome-Tioga BOCES were busy sanding and smoothing Wednesday, but not on a car. They were working on the bobsled that Australia will use in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
"I was surprised because we’ve never done anything like this before, just cars. So it's cool that everyone will get to see it," said BOCES student Henery Grannis.
"Most of us have never seen a bobsled in person, just on TV. So the kids were in awe," said BOCES auto body repair Instructor Chad Zajdel.
Broome County native Randy Will built the Australian team's bobsleds in his garage. Will competed for the U.S. bobsled team in 1988, 1992 and 1994. He turned to coaching the U.S. team in the following two Olympics and even coached 2002 Olympic gold medalist Jimmy Shea.
Will found a local body shop to paint and finish the two man bobsled and asked BOCES to do the same for the four man sled.
"My wife had gone to BOCES and said it’s a great program. They have all kinds of things at BOCES. And I said what a great idea to have the kids touch something the world will see in a few short months," said Randy Will.
Once students are done sanding and putting the finishing touches on it, they'll put a coat of yellow paint on it and ship it off to Lake Placid for training. It will come back to BOCES in January for the final coat of Olympic paint.
Zajdel said, "That’s when we are going to do the special paint job with teal and yellow and the special Australian stuff on it."
The project gives the students a rare chance to be a part of the Olympics.
Will said, "I’m hoping they can look back years from now and say, "remember when? It was so awesome, what happened years ago. Remember when?"".
BOCES students will be watching with excitement as their handiwork races down the track.