Olympic Hopeful Is Right on Track


Dellman visits Old Main

Mike Dellemann grew up about 10 miles south of Madison in Oregon, Wisconsin. A standout high school athlete, he chose UW-Stevens Point because his older sister was a Pointer and the university was near the family lake home in Rhinelander. His most important consideration, however, was track.

“One of the running jokes on the team (no pun intended) was that our college major was track,” he recalled. Initially uncertain as to an academic path, Dellemann earned his degree in business with an adventure education minor. He also accumulated an impressive list of victories in multiple track and field events.

“What I did learn in my time at UW-Stevens Point was time management, work ethic and setting priorities. The joys and pressures were one and the same. It was a joy to stay busy with school, practice, competitions and work, but obviously there was the pressure to succeed in all those aspects.”

With graduation, many students, especially athletes, deal with uncertainty. When his athletic eligibility ended, Dellemann began coaching high school track. At the same time his aunt encouraged him to try skeleton racing. “She was an elite athlete herself, an Olympic alternate in the 5,000 meters, so she knows full well the struggles of an athlete in a low publicized sport,” he explained.
Dellemann attended skeleton school in Lake Placid, New York, and quickly took to the sport. In his 2011 rookie season and his first international competition, Dellemann won a bronze medal. In 2013, he was named to the United States Intercontinental Cup Team.

Watching and encouraging his high school athletes to succeed and even move up to the college level, fuels Delleman’s competitive drive. “Sometimes inspiration comes easily and sometimes it sneaks up on you out of nowhere,” he wrote in his USA Bobsled and Skeleton blog.

When time permits, Dellemann returns to campus.  “I have retained my ties with UW-Stevens Point because of the experiences I had there. I love going back and visiting with old friends, coaches and a professor or two.” This usually means a chat with wresting coach Johnny Johnson or track and field coach Rick Witt, who also was one of Dellemann’s Adventure Education professors.

Even with an intense training and competition schedule, Dellemann has enjoyed just being a tourist in Europe, Canada and in the United States from coast to coast. He has met fellow athletes from around the world and competed at the highest levels, but the Midwest, especially around Stevens Point, is home.  “I really like the area and hope that one day I can find a career and life in central Wisconsin.” 

Right now, the future is, as Dellemann puts it, “a little blurry.” He defines his current job as “an elite athlete for Team USA” and is focused on his goal of representing the United States in Sochi, Russia. He also is working on his MBA at the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University. While the shine of an Olympic medal could make the future a little less blurry, no matter where this talented, hard-working Pointer alumnus goes, he is right on track. 


Follow Mike’s quest for a spot on the Olympic team at mtdskeleton.com


Skeleton racers lie face down on a small steel and fiberglass sled which they steer with their heads and shoulders along an ice track, usually the same as that used for bobsled and luge racing. A racer’s chin and toes are only millimeters from the ice.

With sleds reaching speeds up to 80 miles per hour, racers experience a G force similar to that of jet pilots. Sleds are not allowed a braking mechanism so racers stop by dragging spiked boots into the ice.

Skeleton originated in Switzerland in the 1880s. It was an Olympic sport until the 1948 games when it disappeared. In 2002, it was once again included in Olympic competition. And, by the way, the United States is the gold medal leader in the sport.