Middle TN couple helps athletes reach their Olympic dreams - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Middle TN couple helps athletes reach their Olympic dreams

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CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

When you think of the Winter Olympics, Tennessee might not come to mind. But for one Middle Tennessee couple, the Sochi Games have been the culmination of years of work.

Jason Hartman, a Clarksville-based strength and conditioning coach, has helped athletes realize their Olympic dreams.

"The work I do with them in the weight room, on the running track to make them stronger, to make them more powerful, to make them faster, hopefully that gives them a competitive advantage," Hartman said.

He has been coaching six Olympic athletes who are competing in the bobsled, skeleton and luge events in Sochi, including silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace.

"I've been sending her programs for the last few years, trying to get her in the best physical shape so something like this can happen today," Hartman said.

So far, two of his athletes have stepped onto the medal podium in these Olympics.

Erin Hamlin won a bronze medal in singles luge, which was a first for an American athlete.

"This is a big accomplishment, not only for myself as Erin's coach, but the sport of luge in this country," Hartman said.

Hartman's day job includes training special forces troops at Fort Campbell, and during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, he worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Hartman's wife, Amanda Bird, traveled to Sochi as the director of marketing and communications for the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

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