Meet the Bobsledding Olympian Who Helps Families Build Wealth

Written by Sable Otey Posted On Wednesday, 13 October 2021 00:00


Olympic-Hopeful-Sable-Otey.pngSable Otey has spent most of her adult life clearing hurdles -- usually the type that are lined up single file on a running track -- but there have been a few that life has dropped in her way. When the world is your stage, you want to be at your best when Olympic gold is hanging in the balance.
She's challenged herself to earn a spot on the United States bobsled team that competed in the Winter Olympics in South Korea. In some ways, it's a major transition from track and field, her sport of choice in high school, college and one year beyond, but in other ways, her role on the bobsled team is very similar. Either way, Otey is convinced she had the athleticism, work ethic and support and made her latest dream reality.
After her pregnancy ended hopes of participating in the 2012 Olympic track and field trials, Otey figured she'd transition into life as a wife, mother and schoolteacher in her hometown of Memphis, Tenn., but then a relative suggested she give bobsledding a try. After all, the rear member of the bobsled team, known as the brakeman, often has track and field experience since a strong push with good speed is needed at the start. There are two- and four-man teams, and Otey is on the two-man team.
Otey had never even considered the sport, however. She didn't care much for cold weather and wasn't a fan of rollercoasters, but that just elevated the challenge. Having a track and field background certainly didn't hurt.
"Having that technical background in track and field. ... that has played a major role," she said. "You find yourself having to use some of those same techniques while trying to push the sled."
Otey grew up in the Memphis neighborhood of Binghampton, one of two children to Tamara Otey, a single mother who's now an Assistant Professor at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College in St. Louis. Otey ran track at Memphis East High School and, shortly after graduating, married her high school sweetheart, Reuben, who had joined the Navy.

Reuben was transferred west to San Diego, where Otey continued competing in track and field, first at Mesa Community College in 2007, then at Cal State San Marcos in 2008, where she became an NAIA All-American while specializing in the seven-event heptathlon.
Otey was so good she earned a partial scholarship to George Mason University in Virginia, where she won a Colonial Athletic Association title in the heptathlon in 2010, thanks to wins in the 400 meters, 800 and 100 hurdles.
Her track and field career continued to spike even after graduation. Running unattached in 2011 at the nationally renown Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., she posted a lifetime-best score in the heptathlon of 4,953 points, aided by a personal-best wind-legal time of 14.08 seconds in the 100 hurdles (she ran a wind-aided time of 13.82 the following month at the Occidental Invitational in Eagle Rock).
Otey was well on her way to earning a spot in the Summer Olympic trials the following year, but then learned she was pregnant and was forced to curtail her training.
Otey couldn't bear to watch the 2012 Olympics in London, instead turning her attention to training other athletes, as well as furthering her education by earning a master's degree in education at National University in 2013.
Otey and her husband also headed back to Memphis with their baby boy, Amar'e, where she landed a job as a health and physical education teacher at a local elementary school. Otey figured that would be her life moving forward, but then the chance to be a bobsledder reinvigorated her Olympic hopes.

Olympic Bobsled Training

Then there's the soothing ice baths a couple times a week.
"After you do all that, all the pounding and things like that, you need to make sure that you're doing recovery," she said. Dr. Patrick Kolwaite, owner and practitioner of two The Joint Chiropractic locations in Memphis (Wolfchase and Collierville), has also become an important part of Otey's recovery.
"I was going there a couple times a week to get adjusted, and that really helps," Otey said. "When my tailbone gets kicked out, or anything gets out of whack, I can feel it. When you're used to getting good therapy, you can feel when something's out of place."
Fortunately for Otey, there’s not a lot that’s out of place.
Flexibility is a key to remaining injury-free, and performing to, literally, the gold standard.
And that would be bad when you’re going for gold.
Currently she and her husband Reuben Otey are the owners and operators of the Triple M Agency located in Cordova Tenn where they help families, especially African-American families to learn about wealth building and entrepreneurial financial fitness tools. Both are Life Insurance entrepreneurs helping both their community and Memphis become more fiscally secure.

 

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