PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — American bobsled pilot Justin Olsen hopes to compete at the Olympics despite having had a successful appendectomy on the eve of the Pyeongchang Games.

U.S. bobsled officials said Tuesday that Olsen, who is from San Antonio, went to a hospital in the coastal city of Gangneung on Monday and is trying to recover so he can compete in events starting Feb. 18.

USA Bobsled and Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele says officials are “heartbroken for Justin, but he’s shown us over the years that he’s capable of overcoming adversity.”

Officials say they’re discussing options if Olsen can’t race.

Sgt. Justin Olsen, here one of four sledders in a World Cup race in Utah in 2013, took Olympic gold in the four-man race in Vancouver in 2010. (Tim Hipps/Army)
Sgt. Justin Olsen, here one of four sledders in a World Cup race in Utah in 2013, took Olympic gold in the four-man race in Vancouver in 2010. (Tim Hipps/Army)

Pyeongchang is Olsen’s third Olympics. He was on the four-man gold-medal winning team at the 2010 Vancouver Games. He’s a sergeant in the New York National Guard and a member of the Army’s Word Class Athlete Program, which allows elite athletes to train and compete as part of their military duties.