Woodworking: Even Olympic Athletes Do It!

Article - January 13, 2014

With the Olympics coming up in February, I’m getting pretty excited to see the world-class athletes doing what they do best. It always makes me wonder what would have happened if I had focused on skiing more as a kid, growing up a stones throw from all the Lake Tahoe ski resorts. Maybe I would be a competitive skier, or maybe I could be a alternate on the U.S. curling team… who knows.

For most of the world, we look on in awe of the amazing feats these athletes accomplish during the Olympics. Maybe in our spare time, we do a little skiing, or act like we are on a skeleton track when we are on our waxed up sledding saucers. We want to be able to do what they do!

Woodworking – An Olympic Sport?

Well, for one Olympic athlete, Dana Vollmer, the tables are turned. Now, I doubt that she watches the New Yankee Workshop with the same excitement and anticipation as we did watching her set a world record in the 100 meter fly in 2012; but she does enjoy woodworking in her spare time.

vollmer-pianoWhen asked how she strikes a balanced life with her training, woodworking was her answer. She’s the real deal too, garage workshop and all! She talks about her piano restoration project in the following video on NBC’s YouTube channel. Image sourced from her Facebook page.
Watch the video here!

It always amazes me when I learn more about the celebrities in the world. It turns out, they are not much different than you and I… except they are well known and have some amazing talent. Being a woodworker, I always love to hear about celebrities who enjoy woodworking. Many of us are quite aware of Nick Offerman’s affinity for woodworking, but did you know Harrison Ford was a carpenter prior to his career in acting? Amazing!

So, the next time your significant other gives you a hard time about your woodworking addiction, you can simply let them know that even Olympic gold medalists do it, and it’s part of your training. This year, while you are cheering your favorite athletes on in Sochi try to imagine what these high performance people do when they are not breaking world records. Who knows, maybe Shaun White practices dovetails in his spare time!


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