Col Joe Engle tells this story: In the 1960’s, Gen Yeager had been the King of the Lake Placid Winter Games the year before. This year, he got me invited as the King so they had to figure a title for him. He became the Archbishop.
They took us on a 4 man bobsled run. We slid up one wall, down and up the other side, up the first side and down again, pretty thrilling and quite on the edge, but we made it out in one piece. Literally.
After we got out, I was still kissing the ground, when Chuck said: “OK, I think we got the hang of it now” – and he headed up the hill.
We do? I ran to catch up to him.
We got a 2 man bobsled this time.
Chuck got in front and told me: “I’m in front steering. Get in back and don’t you touch those brakes unless I tell you to.”
Joe: Yes, sir!
We pushed off, jumped on, and went up one wall, down and up the other, and down and up the other side, just like the first time until….we….turned on our side.
We were one big tumble as the sled several yards ahead me and I were sliding toward the finish line. I was still trying to gather my legs and arms to get myself into a semblance of control and maybe…um…stopping, trying to figure out where I was, where Chuck was, where the sled was, when:
I looked up and saw Chuck, waving at me while sliding fast out of control on his back 20 yards ahead of the sled, shouting: “Hurry up, Joe! You’re screwing up our time!”
As we walked back up to the start of the bobsledding, we saw the Italian team come down the track – a guy’s head in his helmet not near his body.
Chuck: Now that’s not how you want to do it.