Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones began competing in bobsled to erase memories of her disappointments at the Beijing and London Games. Sprinter Lauryn Williams, a three-time Olympian who won gold in the women’s 400-meter relay at London, turned to bobsled after nagging injuries cut short her track career.
Both put an exclamation point on their transition to winter sports by being nominated to the U.S. Olympic team for the upcoming Sochi Winter Games.
On the women’s team, Jones, of Des Moines, Iowa, and Miami resident Williams were nominated as push athletes, whose job it is to launch the sled as quickly as possible. Also named as a push athlete was Aja Evans of Chicago. Jones has been part of two medal performances this season and Williams has won three medals in four competitions.
Jones, always engaging, described her experiences in her new sport a few months ago, during the U.S. Olympic media summit.
The pilots nominated to the team are Jamie Greubel of Newtown, Pa., Elana Meyers of Douglasville, Ga., and Jazmine Fenlator of Wayne, N.J. They were the top-ranked U.S. pilots in standings based on international competitions.
Team officials will determine the push athlete/driver combinations in the coming weeks. Only eight other Americans have previously competed in the Winter and Summer Games.
Women’s bobsled was added to the Olympic program at Salt Lake City in 2002. U.S. women won gold at Salt Lake City, silver at Turin in 2006, and bronze at Vancouver in 2010.
The men’s team will feature Steven Holcomb of Park City, Utah, piloting sleds in the four-man and two-man events.
Here’s a full list of both the men’s and women’s teams.