With five summer Olympic Games between them, Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams are more used to running to the finish line than sliding to it. But in a few weeks’ time, the two American athletes will make their Olympic Winter Games debut in Sochi, Russia, as Team USA’s push athletes for the women’s bobsleigh events.
The Olympic veterans join an exclusive list of only10 American athletes to compete in both summer and winter Olympic Games, and their performances in the last few months speak for themselves.
Two-time Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones started the sport after the London 2012 Games following the encouragements of team mate and driver, Elena Meyers. Proving to be a quick learner, Jones demonstrated she had Winter Games potential with two medal performances this season.
Spurred on by Jones, Lauryn Williams, a three-time Olympic sprinter and 400m relay gold medallist in London, made the leap from track to bobsleigh last autumn. Despite being in her rookie season, Williams turned heads when she finished third in the 2013 US National Push Championships.
Williams has since claimed three medals in the four competitions she’s entered, capping her pre-Olympic season by taking first place with driver Jamie Greubel at last weekend’s World Cup race in Austria. Final driver and push athlete combinations for Sochi will be decided at a later date.
The American women’s bobsleigh team have won medals at every Olympic Winter Games edition since the sport was first introduced for women in 2002. And with Jamie Greubel, Elana Meyers, Jazmine Fenlator and Aja Evans completing the women’s bobsled line-up, Team USA looks set to continue this success.
Women’s bobsleigh begins on 18 February 2014.