Engineer by day, Olympic athlete by night. It may seem impossible, but not for John Landsteiner, the "lead" for Team USA’s curling squad. During the day Landsteiner works as a project engineer for INGAA Foundation member Lake Superior Consulting. Even though his day job as an engineer requires 45 – 50 hours a week, Landsteiner trains more than fifteen hours a week for the curling team, according to a Q & A with NBC.
As a project engineer, Landsteiner is one of nearly 3 million Americans working in a job supported by the natural gas industry. In his role, he supervises teams providing construction support services for pipeline installations. This includes everything from engineering calculations to construction oversight. Landsteiner’s job is one piece of Lake Superior Consulting diverse portfolio of services for pipelines and their facilities. In addition to construction planning and supervision like Landsteiner does, Lake Superior Consulting also monitors the health of pipeline systems and advises operators as they transport natural gas, all with the goal of continuing the safe operations of America’s natural gas pipeline system.
Landsteiner’s balance between work, training and his personal life is nothing less than impressive. Unlike many Olympic athletes, Landsteiner has no personal trainers or a set training schedule and so squeezes in training whenever he can. His discipline and determination are what earned him another opportunity, following the 2014 Winter Games, to curl on the US’s Olympic team – this time in Pyeongchang.
Landsteiner isn’t the only engineer to make an appearance in the Olympics. In the last three summer and winter Olympic games there have been four athletes total who were also full-time engineers. Landsteiner loves the field he works in and knows it’s what he wants long term. He says, “I also know I can’t curl my whole life and enjoy pursuing a professional career.”
After a stunning upset against Canada in an extra end (akin to “overtime”) on Sunday, Team USA earned its first win against the North American rival ever in Olympic play, managing to stay in the games. If they beat Switzerland in tonight’s match, Team USA holds on to its chance to advance to the playoffs following this final match of round-robin play.
Follow the USA men’s curling team as it competes this week for the gold medal, and watch the United States take on Canada on Thursday, February 22! .