Soaring from 0 to 180 mph in under 15 seconds, Olympians Stacey Cook and Kelly Clark experienced a new adrenaline rush while visiting the Fallon Naval Station near Mammoth Mountain, CA on June 20.
They met with sailors and their families, sharing stories of their careers as well as learning about life in the Navy. Adrenaline kicked in when the two women geared up as passengers to fly inside an F/A-18F Super Hornet jet. Taking a look back at their action-packed careers, there is no doubt that this opportunity was in their best interest.
Cook, a native to Mammoth Lakes, is currently ranked 10th in the globe for downhill skiing and a major contributor to the U.S. Women's reputation as the top downhill team on the World Cup Circuit.
Vermont native, Clark, won the gold medal in 2002 Olympic snowboard halfpipe competition and continues to thrive with 16 major halfpipe wins this past season.
After the Aviation Physiology and Survival Training, the ladies strapped in, and anxiously awaited takeoff. "The build-up to flying in a fighter jet is similar to a contest, and the adrenaline is like you've just landed your best run ever", said Clark.
As the jets reached six G forces, Clark and Cook practiced breathing and flexing their muscles to improve their circulation and keep from passing out. "I train six to seven hours everyday, but I was totally exhausted after just an hour and a half of flying," said Cook. “It’s amazing what the pilot’s body can handle.”
“These two remarkable women demonstrate a similar focus and work ethic the Navy demands of its people,” said Rear Admiral Mark A Vance, “It was a real privilege to meet them.”