New York Post: "The little sled that could: How Israel’s bobsled team is pushing for Olympic glory with Gaza war raging"

A former track athlete at Tulane, Firestone retired from competitive sports in 2012. A year later, he had a mini stroke, which prompted his return to competitive sports.

“Life is short. After the stroke, I decided that I’ll pursue my original dream of being a professional athlete,” Firestone said.

After watching the 2014 Olympics, Firestone decided to learn to race skeleton and was quickly recruited by the U.S. development team. Firestone soon decided to compete for Israel instead, becoming Edelman’s successor after his 2018 Olympic run. 

Firestone’s numerous jobs as a skeleton athlete are a far cry from his experience with Team USA.

“It’s going from having almost anything you could want — free housing, coaching, access to training equipment — to having nothing. I’m not just an athlete. I’m also a physiotherapist, coach, travel agent, sled mechanic,” he said. 

Everyone involved with the program reiterated how important it was for them to see Israel succeed and to be ambassadors for their homeland. 

“I come across many people each year who haven’t met any Jews before and have misconceptions. Sports does a better job than almost anything else at removing misconceptions just because of the unity between athletes. These are my rivals, we’re competing for the same Olympic spots, but at the end of the day, we relate to each other more than anyone else,” he said.

In lieu of advertisements this year, Firestone has been putting stickers of Oct. 7 hostages on his sled. Firestone felt a sense of pride that athletes and spectators came up to him and asked about the hostage situation and he could educate them on the developments. 

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