He has been to the top of the mountain and back. And on Wednesday night, in another event mostly unplanned, U.S. Olympic bobsledder Evan Weinstock of Las Vegas took a bow at the Ultimate Vegas Sports Weekend pep rally at Toshiba Plaza in the shadow of T-Mobile Arena.
Weinstock, believed to be the first Winter Olympian from Southern Nevada, had just returned from South Korea where he and teammate Justin Olsen finished 14th in the two-man bobsled. He helped push Codie Bascue, Steven Langton and Samuel McGuffie to ninth place in the four-man.
The former football star at Del Sol High and track and field decathlete at Brown of the Ivy League flashed a gold medal smile when he was called on stage before Golden Knights and rugby players and UFC fighters and NASCAR drivers.
“It was amazing. PyeongChang did a great job of hosting the Olympics,” the 26-year-old said before the rally. “From an athlete’s perspective, it was everything I dreamed about, walking in the opening ceremonies, seeing some of the world-class athletes compete — it was truly an amazing experience.”
He was only at the pep rally to do a TV interview, but it wasn’t long before the big guy wearing the white U.S. Olympic Team parka was signing autographs and interacting with local sports fans.
“I think I’ll definitely remember the opening ceremonies,” Weinstock said of his most cherished Olympic memory. “That’s kind of the iconic moment of the Olympics.
“Walking into the stadium with athletes such as Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White right next to you, and the American flag waving in front of you, is really an amazing experience. It kind of brought back all the emotion, all the hard work that led up to that experience.”
Weinstock said hanging out with recently retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. also was pretty cool.
“Dale was out there with NBC (TV), and he was checking out the bobsleds at the track and we invited him out behind the scenes where we were working on the sleds,” said Weinstock, who trained in a sled designed by former NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine. “He hopped in and the pilots kind of took him through how to steer a bobsled,”
He said Junior expressed interest in driving down the mountain at full throtte, but the feeling isn’t mutual.
“I didn’t have any interest in going to the front seat of the bobsled, and I don’t think I’d have any interest in driving the NASCARs either,” Evan Weinstock said about driving a stock car around Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “It’s a little too fast for my liking. I’m kind of a pansy when it comes to that stuff.”