It’s no secret that Eleanor Roosevelt was a pretty adventurous First Lady in comparison to her predecessors. But did you know she once raced with the sweetheart of America’s team on an Olympic bobsledding course?

Yeah, Eleanor Roosevelt was pretty amazing

When it comes to president’s wives, Eleanor Roosevelt can certainly claim to be one of the most epic, adventurous First Ladies out there. While the position had, up until that point, been fairly suited for feminine standards of the times, Eleanor took the country by storm with her commandeering attitude and confidence. With every action, she refused to be a mere figurehead in the White House.

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Eleanor was often involved in philanthropy work, supported war efforts, communicated with the citizens, and was politically active alongside her husband. While in office, she worked constantly, writing newspaper articles, drafting novels, and giving speeches across the country. But what many don’t know about the publicly-involved First Lady was the incredible, short-lived, minutes-long career of Olympic bobsledding.

Come on, you can’t tempt an adventurer like that

Okay, so maybe Eleanor didn’t exactly join the American Olympic team and fight for a medal, but she did race down an Olympic hill. While visiting Lake Placid, New York, the host of the 1932 Winter Olympics, Franklin and Eleanor met the American bobsled team at a luncheon. They got to work explaining the curious bobsledding run to the couple, and soon, Eleanor was entranced.

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Now, Eleanor was all for admiring a good vehicle. She loved flying with Amelia Earhart and even driving in her own car, though often dangerously and at very high speeds. But what’s more high-speed than a bobsledding barreling down a slope? Paul Stevens, a member of the bobsled team, seemed to read Eleanor’s mind, and offered her a ride on their team’s bobsled. He was probably somewhat shocked when she actually agreed to the idea!

Wow, this lady was freaking fearless

Adventurous Eleanor had no hesitations about hopping in the sled with Henry Homburger, America’s bobsledding sweetheart. And the fact that the German team had barrelled off the course and ended up in the E.R. for their injuries just days before? Old news. While we can almost guarantee that Franklin chewed his nails off waiting for her to reach the bottom, Eleanor had a blast.


The bobsled made it through the intricate course perfectly, and at the bottom, Eleanor hopped out of the vehicle with a massive grin. A star-struck Homburger was pretty honored that the First Lady trusted him with her life, and commented on her awesome courage. Still, it seems like Eleanor was all about taking a good risk here and there to have a little fun.