Career Highlights: 2010 U.S. Bronze Medalists, 2009 U.S. Silver Medalists, 2008 World Junior Champions
On to Vancouver
Evan Bates and partner Emily Samuelson made their first Olympic team with a third-place finish at the 2010 U.S. Nationals. They had originally been thinking Sochi 2014; Bates said that after watching Torino that he didn't think they'd be ready for Vancouver. Feeling a little under the radar, their status of Olympians has been a shock -- in a good way. "We haven't been involved in the media summits or a whole lot of interviews, so for us the Olympics is an abstract word ... just something we talked about with friends and family, and now that the dream has been realized it's amazing."
Samuelson began skating at age five while her family was living in Europe for her father's job. In Switzerland, she saw a girl in a white dress skating on an outside pond and decided she wanted to skate. She began lessons when the family returned to the U.S. and competed in singles up through intermediate. When she was younger she was a finalist in the Miss Teen Michigan Pageant. Samuelson is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan and is taking two classes.
As the pilot for the USA-1 bobsled, I broke a 62-year gold medal drought when my sled, the 'Night Train" won the Olympic title at the 2010 Vancouver Games. A degenerative eye condition nearly caused me to quit my sport in 2008, but corrective surgery restored my vision to 20-20.