A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Mason Alumnus Returns to the Olympics

By Leah Kerkman Fogarty on February 9, 2010

Mike Kohn trains at Mason.

After a two-decade career, Michael Kohn, B.S. Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources ’97, will soon be considered a two-time Olympian. The Mason alumnus has participated in the Winter Olympics once before, in 2002, where he won a bronze medal in bobsledding. Let’s hope this time around, he’s just as fruitful. The Washington Post recently did a great profile of Kohn and his unlikely path to the 2010 Olympics. Despite his medal win eight years ago (and subsequent naming to People Magazine’s “Top 50 Most Eligible Bachelors” in the same year), Kohn has faced a lot of setbacks in his career.

According to the Post:

As a Chantilly High senior 18 years ago, the Fairfax native missed the cut for the ’92 Olympics. Weeks before the 1998 Winter Games, Kohn’s bobsled was destroyed in a Christmas Eve fire. A hamstring injury prematurely derailed his bid in 2006.

Even his Olympic bid this year was fraught with close calls. He made the four-man team this year after an athlete was forced to retire due to an injury. Then, in order to accrue enough points to qualify for the Olympics, Kohn and his teammates had to endure a flurry of competitions to even be considered.

So be sure to cheer him on when his team takes the ice later this month. Even though the Post story says Kohn’s team is not considered a medal contender, in true Patriot fashion, Kohn says we shouldn’t count him out.

“There is a lot of motivation on a guy like myself, a lot of determination,” Kohn said. “I have nothing to lose. I would love to get a medal with these guys. I’ve been fortunate enough to have gotten one already, and I’m going to fight like hell to get another one, I’ll tell you that.”

Kohn is one underdog I certainly wouldn’t bet against. Good luck to him in Vancouver!

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