Track Star Jones Named to USA Bobsled Team
BATON ROUGE – While making her name on the track as one of the world’s premier sprint hurdlers as a two-time Olympian for the United States, Lady Tiger alumnae Lolo Jones will take her Olympic dream to Sochi, Russia, as she learned Sunday that she has been named to the U.S. Olympic bobsled team that will compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Jones is among six athletes who have been named to Team USA’s women’s bobsled team, including fellow track star and Summer Olympics veteran Lauryn Williams.
Jones and Williams join Aja Evans as the three push athletes for the United States who will be competing in Sochi, while Jazmine Fenlator, Jamie Greubel and Elana Meyers are the three drivers on the team. Driver and push athlete combinations for the two-man bobsled will be decided at a later date, according to the official press release at www.teamusa.org.
Athletes were informed of their selection to the U.S. Olympic bobsled team at the team hotel in Igls, Austria.
“I was definitely very nervous entering the room,” Jones is quoted as saying of the selection process by an ESPN.com report. “I’m usually used to looking up at a screen after I cross the finish line to see the results. You are just like anxious, armpits are sweating, don’t know what’s going to happen.”
It marks Jones’ third Olympics appearance during her athletics career as she also competed in the 100-meter hurdles for the United States at the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. Both Jones and Williams will become only the ninth and 10th Americans in history – male and female – to compete in both the summer and winter versions of the modern Olympic Games when they appear in Sochi.
After participating in the sport of bobsled for the first time a year ago, Jones has made a case for her Winter Olympics berth on the strength of an outstanding 2013 season highlighted by a gold-medal-winning effort at the Swiss Winter World Championships in the combined bobsled-skeleton team event held last January.
Jones was famously just one hurdle away from Olympic gold while leading when she hit a hurdle in the final of the 100-meter hurdles in the Olympic final in Beijing in 2008. She finished the 2008 season as the top sprint hurdler worldwide with her personal best of 12.43 seconds that she set in the semifinal round at the Olympic Games before her stumble in the final.
She then returned to the Olympic stage in London in 2012, finishing just outside the medal places with a fourth-place finish in her second career Olympic final.
While reflecting on Sunday’s selection, Jones shared her thoughts on being named to the U.S. Olympic bobsled team on her official Facebook page approximately two hours after she learned of her selection.
“Had I not hit a hurdle in Beijing, I would not have tried to go to London to redeem myself,” Jones wrote on her Facebook page. “Had I not got fourth in London, I would not have tried to find another way to accomplish the dream. Bobsled was my fresh start. Bobsled humbled me. Bobsled made me stronger. Bobsled made me hungry. Bobsled made me rely on faith. Bobsled gave me hope. I push a bobsled, but bobsled pushed me to never give up on my dreams.”