Nicole Brungardt

Q: Has track, basketball and volleyball for years prepared you for Olympic pressure, especially tense situations during high school and college playoffs and championships?

A: Yes, definitely. This is just more of a different level. In high school and college, it isn’t the coaches making you feel less. In this, you have one job. It’s a bit different. I did learn how to control my adrenaline and my emotions and things like that, but this is a job. There are more things you have to handle. It takes it to a new level, but I feel I’m prepared for it. God prepared me in different ways and so I am just kind of learning as I go.

Q: I know you had to give up a corporate job to train a couple of years ago. Can you work part-time or are all the hours devoted to training and getting better?

A: There is time to do a part-time job. I would kind of like to get back and do a part-time, fun job. When it is just training, I think I stress out more. When I lived in Lake Placid, I actually worked at The Marriott in Lake Placid as a barista.

Q: So you were a barista?

A: Yes, it was fun. I walked to work from the training center because I didn’t have a car up there. It broke up my time.

Q: Can you indulge in an espresso or a caffeine-filled coffee now during training?

A: Oh yes. I feel like pro athletes, or bobsledders especially, we are very caffeinated.

Q: What is your favorite coffee?

A: As a barista, we try a lot of different things, but definitely my “go to” is cappuccino with an extra shot and cinnamon.

Q: Are you still as fast you have ever been?

A: You know, I don’t really know because we don’t run the same distances, but I would definitely say I am the strongest I have ever been. I’m fast, but I feel like I probably have been faster at one time in my life. What we need in our sport is the balance between strength and speed because we are trying to push this 400-pound bobsled.

Q: Do you ever get any advice or talk to Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby native who played football at Nebraska and won gold and bronze medals with the U.S. men’s bobsled team)?

A: Definitely. In the beginning stages of my career, he was a big help. There’s a lot of steps, especially at the beginning. If I had questions, he was definitely there to help plan it out for me.

Q: Do you have time for television?

A: Not much.

Q: If you do have time for TV, is there any show or program that you enjoy?

A: “The Office” for sure, and I just finished “Scandal,” the series.

Q: If you were working in a place like “The Office,” do you think Michael would be a good boss?

A: (Laughing) I think I would love to work for him. I like humor and he would have a lot of jokes, so I think I would love it.

Q: What’s your favorite meal?

A: That’s tough, but for dessert it would be cake. I’m not a pie person. I also like Rice Krispie bars. For a meal, it’s probably fish and sushi — probably.

Q: What’s your favorite type of music?

A: Christian music. If I am ever in the car, it’s definitely Christian music, even working out.

Q: So what’s the hardest part in trying to make the Olympics — working out, training, eating only the proper nutrition or staying mentally tough, even when things don’t go right?

A: It’s the mental part. This is about my favorite part to talk about. Everyone sees the highs of competing, but it is the mental part that is hard. You are constantly being compared. Are you fast enough? Are you strong enough? Are you good enough? That takes a toll on you mentally. A lot of people can get there physically, but it’s like can you stay in the mental game? It’s a roller coaster. The bobsled ride is a roller coaster, but the mental aspect of being a professional athlete is even more so. Can you take being criticized all the time that you aren’t fast enough or you aren’t good enough? You constantly have to overcome that and then trust the process.

Q: Does your dad, (Tim, former Nebraska fullback and I-back), ever offer you advice?

A: Oh yes. He’s definitely someone I go to for advice all the time. He’s level headed.

In other news

LINCOLN — The No. 2 Weeping Water Indians came out on top in a 51-50 overtime thriller against the No. 3 Hartington Cedar Catholic Trojans in the semifinal of the Class D1 Nebraska girls state basketball tournament Thursday.

LINCOLN — Humphrey St. Francis drew one step from an undefeated, state championship season on Thursday after defeating Mullen 65-59 in the semifinals of the Class D2 state tournament at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

LINCOLN — Wynot was, well, Wynot in the opening round of the Class D2 state girls basketball tournament here at Lincoln North Star High School.

LINCOLN — Sixth-seeded Ponca used a 17-2 run in the second quarter to pull away and then stretched the lead in the second half for a 59-45 victory over Guardian Angels Central Catholic in the opening round of the Class C2 state tournament at Lincoln Southeast.

LINCOLN — Class C2 of the girls state basketball tournament had its first upset of the bracket when the No. 7 seed Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur Wolverines upended the No. 2 seed Wood River Eagles 62-41 in the quarterfinals at Lincoln Southeast on Wednesday.