Dallas Robinson is slowly becoming a household name in the state of Kentucky as the only person from our great state in this years winter games and hopefully soon people all over the world will see the Bluegrass State product getting some medals in the Sochi Winter Olympics. His story is a little different then most Olympians, he has tried everything from track to Rugby to become an Olympian, but it is a bobsled where Robinson is getting his chance.
Dallas was a football player and a track star at Oldham County High School in Buckner, KY. He then took his speed to Eastern Kentucky University where he continued his success on the football field and on the track.
After graduating with a degree in Communications Studies at EKU, Robinson took a high-paying sales job in Lexington, KY. Although he was making around $100,000 a year, the athlete inside of him was dying to get out.
The then 25 year-old decided to quit his job and began training as a sprinter for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Robinson was training hard and was doing well in competition with respectable numbers. His Olympic dream was starting to become a reality—until he tore his left hamstring in a competition at Georgia Tech.
The 6’4” athlete thought his shot of becoming an Olympian was over and went back to work. Robinson then received a surprising phone call from the USA rugby team coach, Al Caravelli. Robinson was able to make the USA National Rugby team, but once again was stopped short due to an injury.
Robinson then found a new passion: coaching track at Lexington Christian Academy and Berea College. He retired from high-level competition and got married to his wife Lauren. He grew close to the athletes he coached, especially a senior at Berea named Phil Miller. Miller, like Robinson, had a strong desire to continue to pursue a career in athletics after college. Robinson told Miller that if he was going to make it to the next level, he needed to start now.
“Phil’s senior year was 2010,” Robinson recalled. “When he was leaving he and I had the what-are-you-going-to-do-with-your-life talk that often big brothers, coaches or fathers have with someone they care about. Phil expressed to me that he had always had a strong desire to try and continue athletics of some sort at the next level. I encouraged him that if he were to ever try it now would be a good time…a life time of regret is a long life to live I told him.”
Robinson then gave Miller the advice of trying out for the USA Bobsled team. Miller flew out to Park City, Utah and did well in his combine. He did so well that he was asked to push for a team.
Robinson described what happened next, saying, “I feel like Phil and I spoke weekly about his adventure, training, living environment while out there, etc. As the season came closer Phil called and asked me if I would consider coming out and racing in an America’s Cup race with his driver on his four-man team. I initially wasn’t very interested as I hate any and all heights, I really hate cold weather, I get very motion sick and lastly I was very happy coaching kids and hanging out in the comfort of my home with the woman of my dreams. Phil’s driver, John Bagley, eventually called me and told me he would cover my expenses to get out there and allow me to stay with him and his family to further reduce cost.”
Robinson flew out to Utah to help his former student and became hooked on the sport of bobsledding.
With a long story behind him, lots of ups and downs, Dallas’ dream has come true. He will get his chance to wear the red, white and blue as he walks into the the Sochi Games opening ceremonies Friday night. His family, friends, fellow Kentuckians and the Military he represents (as he is a proud member of the Army World Class Athlete Program) will be cheering him on.
“My wife reminds me all the time that the Lord is choosing to use me through bobsled right now and regardless of how it turns out we are being diligent in trying our hardest every day to do His will.”
Dallas is a friend of KentuckySports.co and we could not be more proud of him. Good luck and God bless Dallas! Go USA!
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Interview with Robinson took play in November, 2012.
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