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Jacobo raises goals

Steven Jacobo shows off some of his hardware from his comptetitions in Europe and at Park City, Utah.
Brad Coman |

With a medal from last year’s Para-bobsled World Championships in hand, Steven Jacobo is now preparing up for another run this coming winter with the U.S. Adaptive Bobsled and Skeleton Association.

The 26-year-old Carson Valley wheelchair athlete is entering his third season of para-bobsled competition and is looking toward the start of a new season this November.

“This year is going to be bigger; it’s definitely going to be more competitive,” he said Friday during a workout at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center. “I’m looking forward to bringing home more medals. I know I get better with every run I make … I can feel the difference.”

Jacobo has already experienced quite a transformation since Feb. 26, 2013 when he spent a day off from work snowboarding at Sierra-at-Tahoe. As he passed through a series of tabletops, gaining speed along the way, Jacobo flew out of control off a 25-foot drop-off and fell directly on his back, resulting in severe T9 and T10 vertebrae spinal cord damage.

Now, fast forward to this past March when the inaugural Para-bobsled World Championships in Park City, where Jacobo capped off his successful season with a fifth-place medal-winning performance. Earlier in the season, he earned sixth-place awards during races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Igls, Austria.

The national team will be selected in November. Jacobo said the 2016-17 season starts Nov. 6-14 in Calgary, Canada, followed by a stop in Park City on Nov. 15-22, and culminates at the world championships in Switzerland.

“I’m pretty confident about November,” Jacobo said. “I like the Park City track. That’s one of my favorites.”

His work in the sport is an ongoing process.

“It takes years to become a legit bobsledder,” he added. “I really haven’t been on any of the tracks that long, so I’m still learning. You start to understand a course each time you take a run. You learn the fastest line down the track and how you need to go into and out of corners.”

In the meantime, Jacobo continues his quest to become bigger, faster and stronger.

“You can compensate with driving skills, but you have to be athletic,” he said. “And the more weight, the faster you go down the track and I’m one of the smallest guys in bobsledding.”

The races should be more competitive this coming season, he added.

“A lot of new nations are involved, there are 70 now, so that’s good for the sport,” Jacobo said. “We’re still hoping to be part of the 2022 Paralympics.”

Likewise, he has elevated his personal goals to a higher level.

“I’ve been getting bronze medals, so obviously I’d like to start winning silver and gold,” Jacobo said.