Monday, September 22, 2014 - 4:12:07 AM

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BOCES Sled Powers Aussies in Olympics

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

Autobody students at Broome-Tioga BOCES have a special reason why they're pulling for the Australian Bobsled team at the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi.

"The kids are psyched. It's been quire a ride. The kids can't actually wait for the Olympics to start to see their yellow bobsled go down the hill," said Chad Zajdel, Autobody Instructor at Broome-Tioga BOCES.

The students finished the body work and painting on the Aussie sled. The class was commissioned by Endwell native and three-time Olympian Randy Will. He was coaching the Australian team at the time and built the sled.

"They had a blast doing it. It really looks cool. It's a great-looking sled. The frame, everything else worked out fantastic," said Will.

"It's quite nice knowing something that you did actually made a difference," said Matthew Dunlap, Broome-Tioga BOCES autobody student.

"We were just joking around like, 'this think is homemade, painted yellow. How is this going to win?'" said Josh Whitbeck, Broome-Tioga BOCES autobody student.

Will is now coaching team USA. The Australians are enjoying a strong pre-Olympic season in the BOCES sled. The Aussies finished second in the four-man bobsled at the North American Cup in Lake Placid on January 12th. And they rode with a piece of the students in their sled.

"I'm kind of hoping to see if it shows up on TV. But the morning class is on the left side and the afternoon class is on the right-hand side. We just kind of said, 'good luck,'" said Zajdel.

The BOCES students may be taking a bit too much credit, though.
"Randy sent me a picture of the pusher and the guy's pretty jacked. So I said, 'it's probably more their athleticism and their hard training.' They're like, 'No way, it's the paint job,'" said Zajdel.

So as the Aussies go for the gold these students will cheer them on. And get a jumpstart on their own careers.
"Those guys are professionals. They do a great job. What they teach at BOCES just sets them up," said Will.

"I feel more confident knowing that I've done something that's actually to a professional level. Especially when I go to get a job, especially if I do body work. They see that in my resume and it's pretty good," said Whitbeck.

****In Broome County, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News****

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