Dave Nicholls

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Team facts

Sport:              Bobsleigh (Pilot)

Birth Date:        15 September 1963

Season joined:  2018

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Bio

Dave Nicholls is a pilot of the Israeli National Bobsled Team – Bob Team Nicholls.

Dave won Israel’s its first gold medal in the Sport of Bobsled at a para–World Cup in Feb 2020 at the Lake Placid, New York. The next day he followed with a silver medal then the following week a bronze medal at the Utah Olympic Park, in Park City Utah. 

 

Dave was a track and field star in High School as a Hurdler and sprinter. He was also a member of the High School football team where he played halfback and defensive end. Later he received a snow ski Scholarship to Colorado State University where he raced Slalom, Giant Slalom and Downhill in the USA NCAA and NCSA collegiate ski circuit. In an unfortunate accident an out of control snowboarder collided with him from behind; Dave woke up to find he was paralyzed with a broken back and partially broken neck. 

 

Dave was determined though not to let that stop him from moving on with his life and career in Sport. Soon he was introduced to Sled Hockey and became the Goalie for the Utah Sled Hockey team. Later he was invited to the Utah Olympic Park where he was given an opportunity to drive a Bobsled. It was there that he was able to re-ignite his need for speed which he was accustomed to during his ski career. 

 

In 2004 he was invited to forerun a coveted able bodied Race (as the pace car) and shared his vision with the FIBT/IBSF President Ivo Ferriani. They agreed to work together from that point forward to work to make it an official Winter IPC Paralympic Sport. Dave started the world’s rirst ever Paraplegic/Amputee Disabled Veteran Bobsled Team known then as the US Adaptive Bobsled & Skeleton Association, Inc. They received 501(c)3 status from the USA IRS which enabled them to provide a benefit for their donors. The Corporation is now known as the Adaptive Bobsled & Sports Association, Inc. In an effort to help the sport qualify as an official Paralympic Sport, Dave made Aliyah, moved to Israel, trained and conditioned at Wingate Institute for sport and began competing for Israel.  

 

A few years ago, Dave and his team were invited to race in the North America Cup where he earned enough points and completed enough races to compete for Israel in the World Championships held in Whistler, Vancouver Canada in 2018/2019. Later, Dave was given the opportunity to pilot a four-man sled as Israel's first ever four-man pilot and team. Dave and the team took a 6th place medal in the America's Cup at his home track in Park City, Utah. Dave and his team are now composed of Israeli IDF disabled veterans and are positioned well to compete in the Beijing Olympics in February 2022. They have already completed almost half of their qualifying races. This season, the team will train and compete in Beijing, China, Whistler Vancouver, Canada, Park City, Utah USA, Lake Placid New York, USA and possibly World Cup races in Europe before the Olympics. 

 

Two years ago, Dave was also recruited to the new NHL Hockey league in the USA as the Goalie for the Vegas Golden Knights Sled hockey Team where he led the team to its first Pacific National Championship and received the MVP award.