Before enduring Russian customs and security to get to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Alpine snowboarder Justin Reiter and bobsled pilot Jazmine Fenlator had already been through the mill.
Reiter, 33, a World Cup silver champion who missed the last two Olympics due to injuries, lived out of his pickup truck in Utah last summer when money got tight. Combined with all the hardscrabble jobs he's held over the last 14 years—mountain bike mechanic, pizza cook and busboy among them—the quote on Reiter's Facebook page makes perfect sense: "The essential thing in life is not to conquer, but to struggle well."
The 28-year-old Fenlator and her family lost their home to Hurricane Irene in 2011. Her mother suffers from several serious illnesses. And untimely deaths have plagued the family for years. All this while Fenlator trained 10 hours a day, shouldered a master's degree–load of schoolwork and worked four jobs at a time.