Olympics Winter

U.S. bobsledder arrested in Vancouver

American bobsledder Bill Schuffenhauer was detained and released by police after an argument with his fiancée, a person with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press

A member of the U.S. Olympic team has been arrested for alleged assault in Whistler, B.C.

Whistler RCMP said a male American athlete in his 30s allegedly assaulted his common-law wife. She was not seriously hurt and no weapon was involved. He has been released after posting a cash bond, with the police recommending charges of assault and uttering threats.

The Associated Press, citing a person with direct knowledge of the investigation, reported the athlete is American bobsledder Bill Schuffenhauer.

Schuffenhauer, an Olympic silver medallist in 2002, resumed training Thursday and is expected to compete in Friday's four-man bobsled at the Vancouver Games.

"We understand that late last evening [Wednesday], Bill Schuffenhauer, a member of the U.S. bobsled team, was detained and released by authorities in Whistler. At this point we are awaiting further details," said a statement from the USOC communications officer, Patrick Sandusky.

The 36-year-old Schuffenhauer is a pushman for USA-3, driven by Mike Kohn and also pushed by Jamie Moriarty and Nick Cunningham.

Schuffenhauer won a silver medal in four-man at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

Loses house, car seeking another medal

He has been candid about his struggles in life.

After finishing sixth four years ago in Italy, Schuffenhauer wanted one more shot at a gold medal. To do so, he quit his bank job, leaving his fiancée, Ruthann Savage, a nurse, to support him and his four-year-old son, Corben.

The financial hardships never eased. Schuffenhauer had trouble getting sponsors, and lost his house and car in pursuit of another medal.

He came to the Vancouver Games by himself, but Procter & Gamble picked up the tab through a program that helps family members watch their loved ones compete in the Olympics.

"It was just hard to fathom not being able to share this all with them," Schuffenhauer said this week during a joyous reunion. "We did this as a family."

Schuffenhauer had a troubled childhood in Salt Lake City. His mother was a drug addict and for a time, he was homeless. When he won his silver medal, his mother watched his race from jail.

"I come from garbage," Schuffenhauer said last year. "To come from where I come, no one could be prouder of me than me."

Following Thursday's practice run, he stepped from the back of the bobsled and walked away from his teammates. He spent roughly one minute in the truck used to transport the athletes, using the time to compose himself while athletes, track officials and workers busily loaded sleds for their trip up the mountain.

Back outside, he wiped away tears.

While Kohn and teammates Jamie Moriarty and Nick Cunningham spoke to reporters following their final pre-race tuneup, Schuffenhauer remained on the loading dock next to the track's finish area.

With files from The Canadian Press