Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Alumnus Cline trains for Olympics

The Men’s Track and Field 1,600 relay team are recognized at a pep rally on March 24. From left: David Voland, Keith Cline, David Devore, and Isaac Smith. Photo by Linnea Ritchie.

While his days as a National Champion in the 4×400 meter relay may be behind him, Augustana alumni Keith Cline looks to the future as a potential 2018 Olympics contestant in bobsledding.

Cline was invited to a training camp a few months after graduating from Augustana last year.
The opportunity came to Cline in an unexpected manner.
“I ended up getting a connection request on LinkedIn from one of the U.S.A. coaches,” Cline said. “I ended up confirming the request that he sent me and in the matter of an hour, he sent me a message asking if I would be interested in bobsled and skeleton.”
Cline was contacted by assistant coach Michael Dionne to attend a rookie training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York on Aug. 23-30.
Augustana’s name helped Cline to be offered this opportunity.
“I think that having the name Augustana associated with me as an athlete makes me jump out to coaches in sports,” Cline said. “It’s through the great programs here that big programs like the Team U.S.A. for the Olympic Team that even though the school is so small, they know the successful people who come out of here.”
Cline remarked that his fellow trainees at the camp were Division I athletes.
“A lot of the guys at the camp were DI track and football guys,” Cline said. “Everyone that was there was a super star athlete.”
The cost to continue training is an obstacle that Cline is still trying to overcome.
“I’m still training for it,” Cline said. “I still got invited back to the National Push Championships and to keep training with them, but it would be on my own dime. So right now I really want to do it, but I don’t know if I can afford training on my own unless I go out and get a ton of sponsors.”
Though Cline may not be able to compete with the bobsled team, he may pursue another avenue to the 2018 Olympics in a similar sport: the skeleton.
“I went to one of the optional practices for skeleton while I was at the training camp,” Cline said. “The coach really liked what he saw and I picked up on it really fast. It seemed more fitting for me coming as a track sprinter.”
Beyond the chances to compete in the Olympics, Cline is looking into two potential jobs as a model and an orthopedic sales job. With many opportunities available, Cline remains optimistic for whatever the future holds.
“I’m kind of taking it one step at a time,” Cline said. “I’m still 22 so I got a long, long ways ahead of me, but while I’m young and youthful I want to get myself in as many areas and opportunities as I can.”

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Alumnus Cline trains for Olympics