Walnut Creek’s surprising Olympian

Read this piece in Diablo magazine’s February issue about a Walnut Creek real estate agent, Chuck Berkeley, who has made the Olympic four-man bobsled team.
Writer Peter Crooks says:
Berkeley, 33, recently hit the pause button on his real estate career to train full-time for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. His path to the Olympics shatters the mold of those mini-documentaries that NBC airs during the Games about Olympians as child prodigies because Berkeley didn’t ride in a bobsled until he was 31 years old.

The former UC Berkeley track star got the bobsledding jones one night when he was drinking wine and surfing the web after putting his young daughters to bed. Berkeley Googled the name of another Cal athlete who had gone from track and field to the Winter Games. “I remembered a guy named Darrin Steele training there who was going to the Olympics as a bobsledder,” says Berkeley. “The more I read, the more I wanted to try it.”
And, Berkeley, a 400-meter runner for the Golden Bears tried bobsledding in 2007–after the real estate market crashed. The Massachusetts native, who never attempted snow sports growing up in that state, made it onto a four-man bobsled team that placed 17th in the 2007–08 World Cup in Calgary. 
In a two-man team with Chuck Napier, Berkeley and Napier won the World Cup at Lake Placid, N.Y. in November.

The four-man bobsled event at the Vancouver Games will take place at the Whistler Sliding Centre February 26-27. The United States qualified three bobsleds for the Olympics, and Napier and his push team of Berkeley, Chris Fogt and Steve Langton will make up the foursome for USA II, says CalBears.com, the website for UC-Berkeley.

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