American track and field star Lolo Jones was selected on Sunday night for the U.S. Olympic bobsled team, officials announced.
Lolo Jones will join her track and field teammate Lauryn Williams to become the 9th and 10th Americans to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. The two women along with Aja Evans, will make up the brake/push portion of the team. The pilots of the sled will be Jamie Greubel, Elana Meyers and Jazmine Fenlator. The athletes received the news at the team hotel in Igls, Austria.
The decision was difficult for the U.S. Bobsled officials because the team has a deep and talented pool of athletes from which to choose. "We knew heading into the season that the Olympic selection was going to be extremely difficult," said Darrin Steele, U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton CEO. Even brakeman Katie Eberling was left out despite having three bronze medals in four World Cup races. Officials preferred Jones, believing that the two-time World Cup silver medalist would give the team a better chance at winning.
The U.S. is lucky to have an abundance of talent to choose from, but for those who were not selected, the news will likely be very disappointing.
"It was hard to hear the announcement and know that girls you've been rocking with the entire season, half of staying and half of them are going," said Aja Evans. Evans is one of the lucky ones who made the team, though she still couldn't help feeling disappointed for her teammates that didn't make the cut.
Lolo Jones' selection may trigger some scrutiny considering she is better known as a track and field athlete than as a bobsledder. Even so, she is steadily gaining more recognition for her achievements on the ice. Jones had a dismal 4th place finish in the women's 110 meter hurdles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The same year, however, she went on to medal in her very first Bobsleigh World Cup and gained instant credibility in the sport.
Jones later talked Lauryn Williams into the sport. Williams joined, and has not disappointed yet, winning three medals in four World Cup races. Analysts say Williams might be the biggest surprise in the games. Her combination of speed and strength makes her one of the best American push athletes.
Watch out for Jones and Williams in the Sochi Winter Olympics, starting Friday, Feb. 7.
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