Prior to his mission call, he was one of the top ski jumpers in the U.S. Many of his friends are in Vancouver, British Columbia, competing for Team U.S.A. One has even won a silver medal.
Had it not been for a chance meeting with a member of the LDS Church's First Presidency, William "Buck" Bailey might be in Canada as well.
"I knew this winter would be a real test for me," Bailey said in an e-mail. "It hasn't helped that every ward member has invited me to come watch Olympic ski jumping. Saying "no" the first time was easy, but the 12th time was harder, especially when I want to cheer on my friends."
But Bailey is enduring like a good soldier in the Germany Munich/Austria mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has about a year to go. He enjoys missionary work and doesn't see the two-year experience as a big sacrifice, even if it means missing a shot at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
"Everyone has to give up something to go on a mission, but it's worth it because the Lord gives you a lot more back," Bailey said.