Aim High, reservist family going for gold

  • Published
  • By Rossi D. Pedroza
  • 349th Air Mobility Wing

Emily Bradley has been mining for medals across the world, father and bobsled in tow. She is the daughter of Tech. Sgt. Michael Bradley, aviation manager, 301st Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base. Emily has a goal to win gold, sliding fast down the track.

One year ago, the bobsled sport captured her interest during the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. At first, she was trying it out, according to her father. She is currently ranked number two in the world in Youth Women’s Monobob.

“Emily has developed as an athlete. She has shown us how badly she wants this. Emily wakes up early every morning, does her workout, prepares her meals, watches track videos, and this is something we do not tell her to do,” said her father, Bradley. “She has a lot of initiative and discipline and has taken this on as her own thing.”

The local Travis community first learned of Bradley’s achievements last April when she was featured on the local area broadcast network and reported in the Travis Tailwind publication.

The start of this year’s competition was in January. The first race was held on an intimidating European track in Austria. Her father said she was a bit nervous about how it would go and what the outcome would be. Emily did well. She won silver in the first race and bronze on day two.

The trust and confidence in Emily’s ability and her resilient attitude he instilled in her would carry her through the rough spots.

“I was just blown away. She claimed two of the top three finishes. Emily was in disbelief as well,” said Bradley. “It was her first year of racing, and one girl she competed against had a bunch of racing experience in Europe, yet Emily set the tone.”

Her total time combined for the silver and bronze was 1:56:51.

Bradley recalled his time as a bobsledder, “First time I went to Europe, I was terrified.” Ironically, he and Emily have recorded family history. “We both have shared the fact that our first times (down the slopes) in Europe were down this same track.”

The senior Bradley represented the Unites States Bobsled Team in 2006 and 2010. As an Airman, he was accepted twice for the U.S. Air Force World Class Athlete Program.

“We have a lot of military personnel around in this sport. We still have people who are world top athletes, who are competing in bobsled right now,” said Bradley. “Emily is getting exposure to that level of competitiveness and professionalism and tying the two together.”

The Bradley’s arrived in Pyeongchang, South Korea, after leaving Austria.

The schedule included two weeks of intense training. Emily finished seventh on the first run and fifth on the final run. Father and daughter were pleased with those run times.

The final stop of the competition ended at Lake Placid, New York, known as the most technically demanding track in the world. Emily walked away with two silver medals.

Emily is the only representative for the United States on the women’s team going into the youth Olympics.

“She knows if she doesn’t train or if she doesn’t eat right, it is going to affect her results, said Bradley. “The pressure that she puts on herself is very healthy. It takes a lot for an adult to do those things, especially for a teen.”

Emily will compete in eight additional races to qualify for the youth games. She will participate in two scheduled during October in Korea and two training races in Germany.

“Emily’s journey is so fun. She is literally following in my same footsteps, but she is surpassing me in every way,” said Bradley. “She is better than me. That’s what I hoped for.”