Lauryn Williams

Lauryn Williams retires from bobsled

Lauryn Williams announced her retirement from bobsled Thursday, ending one of the most unique and accomplished U.S. Olympic careers.

“As an athlete I am exhausted having done sports since age 9 and competing professionally for the last 10 years,” Williams said, according to U.S. Bobsled.
Williams, 31, is one of five athletes to win Summer and Winter Olympic medals. She competed in three Olympics in track — 2004, 2008 and 2012 — taking silver in the 2004 Olympic 100m and gold in the 2012 Olympic 4x100m relay.

Then she retired from sprinting, picked up bobsled, made the 2014 U.S. Olympic team in her first season in the sport and won a silver medal pushing for Elana Meyers Taylor in Sochi.

Williams all but retired after Sochi but came back for four World Cup races this winter before ending her career.

“I fell in love with bobsled after just six months and wish I had found it sooner,” Williams said, according to U.S. Bobsled. “It really poured a refreshing sense of life into my heart, which was just what I needed at this point in my life.”

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Lauryn Williams makes international bobsled return this week

Lauryn Williams, who in Sochi became the fifth athlete to win Summer and Winter Olympic medals, will compete in an international bobsled race for the first time since the Olympics in Konigssee, Germany, on Friday.

Williams, 31 and a three-time track and field Olympian, said she was all but retired in April but decided to come back at the U.S. push championships in October.

She didn’t compete in the first three World Cup stops in Calgary, Lake Placid, N.Y., and Altenberg, Germany.

Williams is the only push athlete from the Sochi Olympics still bobsledding. Both Aja Evans and Lolo Jones are pursuing track and field, a sport Williams said she is definitely finished with.

Williams won silver in Sochi with driver Elana Meyers Taylor, who won all three races so far this season and leads the World Cup standings over Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries.

It hasn’t been reported if Williams will return with Meyers Taylor or another driver in Konigssee.

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Lauryn Williams wins championship

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- This time last year, Lauryn Williams was getting into a bobsled for the first time.

Now she's not only an Olympic silver medalist, but a national champion as well.

Williams -- one of five people to medal in different sports at the Summer and Winter Olympics -- won the U.S. national bobsled push championship in the women's brakeman division Thursday, finishing her two starts on the wheeled track at Lake Placid in 9.56 seconds.

Katie Eberling, who's transitioning from push athlete to driver, won the women's pilot competition and Olympic veteran Nick Cunningham won the men's pilot title.

"It was really inspiring to get back out there and be on the track and to win my first push championships," said Williams, who became a two-time Olympic track and field medalist before turning to bobsledding. "I think it's really awesome to see all of the new girls so bubbly and excited about bobsled, and I really relate to that feeling since that was me not even a year ago."

Williams considered retirement after she and Elana Meyers Taylor won silver at the Sochi Games, doing so just six months after getting in a sled for the first time.

But she kept her options open, never making her plans to step away official, and now she's expected to lead the push athletes on the women's World Cup team this winter.

"I'm really looking forward to the season," Williams said.

Eberling finished her two pushes in 8.41 seconds, edging Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Greubel Poser (8.47) for the women's pilot title. Maureen Ajoku was third in 8.72.

Meyers Taylor did not compete because of injury. She had won six straight national push titles.

"I think anytime Elana isn't entered into the competition there's an asterisk next to the win," Eberling said. "But it feels good to start the season with a win and to get back into competition mode after a long offseason."

Cunningham won his third straight men's pilot title, his time of 7.93 topping Codie Bascue (8.00) and rookie Andrew Blaser (8.05).

Steven Holcomb, the 2010 Olympic champion, was fourth and Olympic veteran John Napier -- who is contemplating a return from retirement -- was fifth.

"As a competitor, I always want to win," Cunningham said. "We are going through a rebuilding phase with our program, so to come out here and start the season out like this and to see the depth of pilots is a great thing to see."

Napier isn't sure what his future holds yet.

"I am back to enjoy myself and to spend time with the team," said Napier, who was in college at Lakeland, Florida last year. "I missed being around the team and the guys. This culture is a part of my life and it seems no matter how far I run away, it will always be near to my heart."

The men's brakeman push championships are scheduled for Friday. On-ice training in Lake Placid is expected to start next week, weather permitting. National team selection races also start later this month.

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Lauryn Williams returns to bobsled

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Lauryn Williams isn't done with bobsledding after all.

Williams, one of five people to medal in different sports at the Summer and Winter Olympics, was announced Monday as a returning push athlete by the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

Williams considered retirement after the Sochi Olympics, which capped her first bobsled season.

The USBSF is holding its push championships Thursday and Friday and Williams is expected to compete. Push championships are the official opening to the annual selection process for the national team.

Williams, a former University of Miami track star, teamed with Elana Meyers Taylor to win bobsled silver at the Sochi Games. She's also won gold and silver medals as a sprinter at the Summer Olympics.

On-ice training in Lake Placid is expected to begin next week.

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Vilma, Taylor headline latest University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame class

Ten former Hurricanes will be inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2015, the school announced Monday.

Six -- Rusty Medearis (1990-92, '94), Winston Moss (1983-86), Kevin Patrick (1990-93), Sean Taylor (2001-03), Jonathan Vilma (2000-03) and Rob Chudzinsk (1986-90) -- played for the football program. Chudzinski also coached from 1996-03.

Medearis was a Freshman All-American in 1990 and a defensive lineman for the 1991 national title team. He recorded 22 sacks in his first two seasons before sustaining an injury in 1992 that kept him out until 1994.

Moss, currently the associate head coach of the Green Bay Packers, was on the 1983 national championship squad. Prior to a 10-year NFL career, he finished fourth in total tackles and second in solo tackles and tackles for a loss in 1986 despite missing two games.

A First-Team All-American in 1993, Patrick was also named Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a lineman. In his career, he recorded 23 sacks -- fifth in program history. Patrick serves as the defensive line coach at the University of North Texas.

Taylor was a consensus First-Team All-American and the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2003 as well as a finalist for the Thorpe Award given to the nation's top safety. Taylor, who will be honored posthumously, ranks second in career picks returned for a score (three), second in return yards (306) and fifth in total interceptions (14). He was on the 2001 national championship team.

Vilma, an All-American in 2003, manned the middle linebacker position for two straight national title games. He led the Hurricanes in total tackles from 2001-03. His 377 tackles rank seventh in program history. Vilma, a three-time Pro Bowler, was a two-time Academic All-American and three-time All-Big East Academic Team in college.

Chudzinski began as the tight ends coach in 1996 and worked his way up to offensive coordinator by 2001. He developed All-American tight ends Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow Jr. His schemes set UM records for most points (527), total yards (6,074) and rushing touchdowns (33) during the 2001 campaign. As a player, he won a pair of titles in 1987 and 1989.

Other athletes in the Class of 2015 include Lauryn Williams, who has medaled in both the winter and summer Olympics. Pitcher Alex Fernandez, a member of the Florida Marlins' 1997 World Series team, was an All-American as a freshman. Women's basketball player Kym Hope still ranks in the top 10 for career scoring, free-throw percentage, field-goal percentage, rebounds and blocks. Diver Chris Mantilla, an 11-time All-American, captured the 3-meter title at the 1996 NCAA Championships.

This year's class will be introduced at halftime of Saturday's Cincinnati-Miami football game. Inductees will be honored at the 47th Annual Induction Banquet in April 2015.

"This is an impressive class that reflects the highest level of athletic talent representative of The U," K.C. Jones, president of the UMSHoF and member of the 2008 class, said in a statement. "We look forward to introducing the class at the upcoming Cincinnati game and hosting our induction ceremony at the banquet in the spring."

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Lauryn Williams ‘playing with the idea’ of bobsled this season

NEW YORK — Sochi silver medalist Lauryn Williams might not be done competing after all.

Williams, a three-time Olympic medalist over track and field and bobsled, said she’s at a “pivotal point” on Monday night in deciding if she wants to return to bobsledding this season.

“I’m going to have to make a decision in the next couple weeks or so and get on a formal [training] plan,” she said at NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti‘s Fund to Cure Paralysis dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. “I’m not so out of shape at this point that I couldn’t be ready for a bobsled season.”

Williams, 31, became the fifth person to win Winter and Summer Olympic medals in different disciplines with her bobsled silver medal in Sochi, pushing for Elana Meyers Taylor.

She said in April, “I think I’m done with sports as an active competitor,” but did not fully commit to retiring. She did not take her name out of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency drug-testing pool.

“It has got a little twinge of, is this really the right thing [retiring], and how do you really know when you’re done, especially when you have such an awesome experience in such a short period of time [in Sochi],” said Williams, who is doing the same kind of training as she did as a sprinter and bobsledder now to stay in shape.

Williams said she is definitely done with track and field, though.

“Track is so 20 pounds ago,” she joked.

Williams said Meyers Taylor urged her to come back for a second season with U.S. Bobsled. It appears she would be the most experienced returning push athlete, with Olympians Lolo Jones and Emily Azevedo taking a break, Aja Evans moving to track and field and Katie Eberling now driving.

Williams also took up recreational rugby since coming back from Sochi. Rugby sevens makes its Olympic debut in Rio 2016, and Meyers Taylor has played for Team USA this year.

“Tackling, I can’t quite get my mind around the idea of someone jumping on me or me jumping on someone,” the 5-foot-3 Williams said. “Elana peer pressures me into everything.

“I’m toeing the line of do I even want to play recreationally. I’m not even thinking about the Olympics right now.”

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Lauryn Williams Earns Sports Academy’s 2014 Jim Thorpe All-Around Award

Lauryn Williams, an American track and field and bobsled athlete, has been named the United States Sports Academy’s 2014 Jim Thorpe All-Around Award for her outstanding accomplishment of becoming the first American female to medal in both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games.

The Jim Thorpe All-Around Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in multiple sport and/or multiple events of the same sport.  This individual should exhibit the qualities of versatility, strength, speed, flexibility, conditioning and training that exemplify superior athletic prowess.

Williams won a gold medal as a member of the United States’ 4×100 meter relay team during the 2012 London Summer Games and also earned a silver medal in the 100-meter dash during the 2004 Athens Summer Games. Alongside Elana Meyers in the two-woman bobsleigh, Williams won a silver medal during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

She is one of only five athletes in the world to earn medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games and the first American woman to achieve the accomplishment.

In 2013, the Jim Thorpe All-Around Award was presented to the British track and field star Jessica Ennis for her performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games where she became a heptathlon gold medalist.

The United States Sports Academy’s Award of Sport program is a long-standing awards program within the Academy, dating back to 1985. The recipients of the awards will be recognized in an awards ceremony in November.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, nonprofit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit

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Lauryn Williams welcomed back to Detroit, wants to help hometown

Olympic champion Lauryn Williams is in an elite world-class of athletes, but that hasn’t stopped her from returning home to help with Detroit’s revitalization.

Williams is the first woman and one of only five Olympians to ever win a medal at both the Summer and Winter Games.

But, she said Wednesday, it was her time in Detroit that led her to become an Olympic gold medalist and she wants to “pay it forward” to the next leaders of the city.

“Detroit builds champions,” Williams said at an event at the Northwest Activities Center welcoming her home. “There’s an African proverb that says ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ and that’s literally how I think of my life. It takes so many people. That’s why I’m back in Detroit and that’s why I want to pay it forward. I’ve seen Detroit get itself back on the road to revitalization.”

Williams, 30, doesn’t have a specific outline yet of how she’ll participate in the city’s revival, but she’s been meeting with community activists and leaders to see what she can do. She said she also plans to tackle childhood obesity in Detroit.

At the 2004 Summer Olympics, Williams ran the anchor leg for the women’s 4x100 relay team in the final. Marion Jones and Williams didn’t complete the baton exchange and the U.S. team was disqualified.

“It was really sad to be part of that,” she said. “But in 2012, it all came full circle and I got my chance at redemption.”

Williams was a member of the women’s 4x100 meter relay team that won gold in the 2012 London Olympics. She also won a silver medal in the 100 meter race at the 2004 Athen’s Olympics and recently won a silver medal for the United States in the two-women bobsled event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

She and Elana Meyers missed winning the gold medal by 0.10 seconds. Williams said the 2014 Olympics are likely her last and she plans to turn her scope on how she can help Detroit become what it once was.

Williams said she spent the bulk of her childhood, from age 3 to 12, in Detroit and she vividly recalls the city being vibrant. Williams attended St. Scholastica Elementary School in Detroit before moving to Pittsburgh, Pa.,with her father. She now lives in Dallas, Texas.

“Detroit is the place that got me going,” she said. “This is where my childhood began. I remember a really vibrant Detroit, a vibrant city and it being a really great place to grow up and I can’t wait to help with the revitalization.”

Williams said she began her track career in Detroit running for the Cheetah’s Track Club.

Members of Detroit’s Cass Techicon1 High School track team came out to hear Williams speak and several said they were inspired by her.

“We came because it was a good opportunity and humbling to see someone like her and meet her,” said 16-year-old Alexandra Hickson.

Williams said her goal is to help young adults like Hickson who are talented, but need help realizing their dreams. Williams received her bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Miami, which she attended on a full athletic scholarship. She also received a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix and is currently pursuing a certificate in financial planning.

“My motto is hard work knows no limit and what it means to me is if you’re working hard toward a goal, a resource will be provided and the opportunity will become available to you,” she said. “My message for them is to work hard. People will see how well you are trying to do and someone will help you get to where you are trying to go.”

Williams said she didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but through community support, she was able to push forward with her goal of being a world-class athlete.

“There was always a door opening for me even though we didn’t have all the resources readily available for me, there was always someone who saw my potential,” she said.

Jim Ward, President of the Greenacres Woodward Community Radio Patrol, said he and other community activist came out to support a “Detroit hero.”

“The bottom line is when you pick up a newspaper, all you hear are the bad things about black youths,” Ward said. “When someone does something positive, we should support them.”

The event was hosted by State Sen. Virgil Smith, who said he plans to be a resource to help Williams to get her initiatives off the ground.

“This is the first time I’ve ever met an Olympian and this is really exciting for me and I’m honored and humbled to have Lauryn back home and in Detroit,” Smith said.

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Lauryn Williams comes home to thank her fans, inspire youth

ROCHESTER -- Lauryn Williams' life has been a whirlwind since she became part of Olympic history last month.

She has criss-crossed the country making appearances, both with and without her partner, Elana Meyers, with whom she won a silver medal in women's bobsled in Sochi, Russia.

But one thing was important to the Rochester native as she traveled the nation -- she wanted to come home.

Williams got her wish, as she spends the next several days in western Pennsylvania to visit family, friends and her large legion of fans.

"I’m very much looking forward to coming home," Williams said. "Although I no longer live here, Rochester will always be very special to me. The people of Rochester have been absolutely wonderful throughout this whole process and I just want to thank them in person."

The next days promise to be busy ones for the four-time U.S. Olympian and three-time Olympic medalist.

Friday, Williams will make an 11 a.m. stop at Baden Academy Charter School and at 1 p.m., she will visit her Rochester High alma mater. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., she will host a meet-and-greet for the general public in the Rochester gymnasium.

"The students and staff are very excited about Lauryn's visit," Rochester principal Mike Damon said. "I was not here when she was a student here and am looking forward to meeting her myself.

"She is a wonderful example of how hard work and dedication can impact a person's life."

Damon said several teachers who had Williams in class prior to her 2001 graduation will speak. Among them is Wes Hunkler, a mathematics/computer instructor who collects press clippings on Williams' career.

On Saturday, Williams will participate in the Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. downtown.

Williams says that while she has been living out of a suitcases for the past three weeks, she is enjoying the moment.

"I’m currently on a 25-day trip full of events, meetings and other fun stuff," she said. "So I’m happy and grateful that I'm able to fit in a visit to Rochester to say hello and thank you to the fans who have supported me from day one."

Day one started well over a decade ago for the 30-year-old, who began to turn heads on the Junior Olympics circuit before setting Rochester High records in the 100- and 200-meter runs, 400-meter relay and long jump. She further honed her skill at the University of Miami, and, in 2004, won a silver medal in the 100 meters at the Athens Olympics. In 2012, she was a member of the United States' 4x100 relay team that won gold in London.

A nagging hamstring injury forced Williams to retire her track shoes last summer, but a chance airport encounter with fellow track and field star Lolo Jones led Williams to follow Jones onto the bobsled circuit.

Just a week into the sport, Williams placed third in the U.S. Push Championships and was named to the U.S. Women’s National Bobsled team. While competing on the international circuit, Williams won two silver medals and one gold medal in five World Cup events. This unprecedented rookie success resulted on a spot on Team USA in the 2014 Winter Olympics as a brakeman/pushman behind driver Meyers.

"I really just started with what I knew from track because there are a lot of similarities between running and serving as a bobsled brakeman. Having a track and field background definitely helped," she said. "In bobsledding, the brakeman’s job is to run fast and generate enough power to give the driver an edge and that’s my specialty.

"I was actually too light when I first started, so I had to put on some pounds," the 5-foot-3 Williams added. "In the process, I got to eat whatever I wanted, which was great."

In Williams’ first heat in the Winter Olympics, she set the push start record with a time of 5.13 seconds, resulting in a track record for Meyers and her. In Williams’ second heat, she beat her original record to set a new mark with a blistering time of 5.12 seconds. She and Meyers were overtaken by Canada in the final run, finishing just 0.10 seconds from gold.

Williams became one of only five individuals to win a medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, and the first American woman to do so.
"Believe it or not, I haven’t had much time to sit and digest everything," she said. "When things calm down and I’m able to breathe, I’ll be able to reflect on the gravity of what just happened and how I can use that to further inspire and motivate young people."

Williams said she is uncertain where she goes from here, but is keeping her options open.

"If this most recent Olympic experience has taught me nothing else, it has taught me to never say never," she said. "I never thought I would get into bobsled, compete in the Winter Olympics, or win a silver medal doing it, but I did and it was an amazing experience. While I’m working on the next phase of my life, I haven’t completely ruled out another Olympics.

"But right now, I definitely want kids to know that you can do anything you put your mind to, and accomplish anything you want to achieve, because hard work knows no limits."

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Lauryn Williams Becomes The 5th Person To Ever Receive A Summer & Winter Olympic Medal!

Congrats are in order for track star-turned-bobsled champion, Lauryn Williams! She and her partner, Elana Meyers snagged the silver medal in the two-(wo)man bobsled in Sochi. Williams has become the fifth person ever to win a medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics! Williams took home the gold as a track star on the U.S. relay team at the 2012 London Games.

“Lauryn is one of the most incredible athletes ever,” fellow teammate and bronze bobsled winner, Jamie Greubel said, “and we’re so lucky she decided to stick it out and give bobsled a try.” It’s obvious Williams is one of those athletic people who can try something once and be a genius at it. We all know someone like that. Williams’ athletic prowess is super impressive. In January, Williams went to Austria for the World Cup and took home her first bobsled gold medal! Talk about a natural!

Here’s a fun fact, Williams joins fellow Winter Olympics giant, Vonetta Flowers–another sprinter-turned-bobsledder who became the first Black Olympian to win a Winter Games medal. But the medals don’t matter to Williams, maybe it’s the strong feeling of pride that she values more. She tells Yahoo Sports, “It really is not about the medal for me. I don’t need something that I can hold in my hand.” Williams said her track gold medal is at her mother’s house, but she’s not sure where her silver medal is from the 100 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Must be nice to be such a winner that the spoils don’t even phase you! Congrats Lauryn Williams!

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Lauryn Williams makes history


KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – She missed a gold medal by a split-second, but what she achieved can be measured only in ages.

Lauryn Williams, the track star-turned-bobsledder from the University of Miami, has become only the fifth person ever to win a medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Williams accomplished the feat with partner Elana Meyers in the two-man bobsled here Wednesday, winning silver after leading the first three of four heats. The 5-foot-3 30-year-old, who began running at age 9 in Detroit, won gold as part of the U.S. relay team at 2012 London Games.

"I feel like I'm in the presence of Jesse Owens," said teammate Lolo Jones, who did not medal. "When I looked at Lauryn Williams come out of that sled, I was so emotionally choked up."

The Americans also captured bronze, with Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans easily cruising into third position to win a place on the podium. It was the first time the U.S. has won two medals in the event.

"Lauryn is one of the most incredible athletes ever," Greubel said, "and we're so lucky she decided to stick it out and give bobsled a try."

Williams' silver comes only 12 years after another sprinter-turned-bobsledder, Vonetta Flowers, became the first black Olympian to win a Winter Games gold medal.

American Eddie Eagan, a boxer and bobsledder, is still the only Olympian to win gold in both the Winter and Summer Games. He did it in 1920 and 1932. Williams said her track gold medal is at her mother's house, but she's not sure where her silver medal is from the 100 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

"It really is not about the medal for me," she said. "I don't need something that I can hold in my hand."

Williams said she is not sure about her future plans, hinting she may not return to compete in 2018, but her future standing in the sport, and in the Olympic history books, is indelible.

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Lauryn Williams, in 1st place, could become first woman with Winter, Summer golds

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – They were 1-2-3 in the women’s bobsled World Cup points standings this season.

They are the top three sleds headed into in the final two heats in what has developed into a three-team race where the question is who wins gold, silver and bronze?

USA-1 pilot Elana Meyers and brakeman Lauryn Williams (Detroit), who set a track record today, are in first place with a two-heat time of 1:54.89, 0.23 seconds of a Canada-1 pilot Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse and 0.56 ahead of USA-2 pilot Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans.

“We always push each other,” Greubel said. “I know it’s going to be a fight for the top three.”

Greubel leads Belgium-1 by 0.49, putting the top three sleds in strong medallb_icon1 position headed into the final two heats Wednesday.

USA-3 pilot Jazmine Fenlator and track star Lolo Jones are in 11th place.

The top three teams offer compelling story lines, intrigue and one amazing shot at history from bobsled’s most unlikely gold medallb_icon1 contender.

Jones isn’t the only track star here. Williams is a two-time Olympic medalist in track, including gold at the 2012 London Olympics in the 4x100 relay, and history is within reach. She hopped in a bobsled for the first time in July, and after her first trip down the hill, Williams said bobsledder Bree Schaaf kept checking “to see if my suitcase was still there because she thought I was going to go home. I definitely thought about it.”

Six months later, the former west sider is two strong runs down the mountain from becoming the first woman — and second person — to win a gold medal in the Summer and Winter Olympics.

The friendly, easygoing and humble Williams said Olympic history is not on her mind.

“I didn’t come here for fame, for glory, to get rich or anything like that,” she said. “I’ve thoroughly just been enjoying the ride. I showed up and I said I wanted to help these girls.”

Williams might just help Meyers to a gold medal, too. On their first run, they set a start record in 5.13 seconds and a track record in 57.26 seconds.

“Lauryn came out and gave me a huge start,” Meyers said. “I just tried to be as smooth as possible on the track, and that’s really what I did. There definitely were some mistakes and definitely some areas to clean up.”

Added Williams, to the Associated Press: “Anytime I step on any track, ice track, regular track, any kind of track, my goal is to win,” she said. “So I’m not surprised at all. We prepared well, we did everything we’re supposed to do and we know we’re as good as the rest of the field.”

It was expected Meyers and Humphries would battle for gold. Humphries won the World Cup points title, winning three of eight races, and Meyers was second in the standings, winning two races and placing second in five others.

Looking ahead to the final heat, Meyers and Humphries as the last two sleds going for gold would be a fitting ending to the season.

Humphries, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics gold medalist, and Meyers, who won bronze as a brakeman four years ago, worked out in Calgary together this summer — bobsled’s version of LeBron James and Kevin Durant working out together in the off-season.

“It’s hard to continue to stay motivated and to stay on top, and I knew I needed someone to push me,” Humphries said. “She had agreed that in order for her to be pushed, she needed to be with somebody who can push in the gym and on the track. We call it a Battle Royale.”

For a time during training in the last week, Meyers wondered whether a medal would even be possible. It was a bad week on the track.

Meyers crashed her BMW-built sled on their initial training run, and Williams was late applying the brakes the following day and the pair blasted into a wall near the finish, damaging the front end of the carbon-fibered sliding machine.

However, the incident didn’t crack their relationship.

“The chemistry’s been building the whole time, but I think after we wrecked the sled the other day, that’s when it was solidified,” Meyers said.

Williams was grateful for her driver’s patience.

“That was a bonding moment,” Williams said. “She didn’t yell at all. She was emotional about the sled but she didn’t freak. ‘E’ handled it like a pro.”

On Facebook, Meyers posted a lengthy message saying, “This Olympics has been the most difficult athletic experience of my life. I’ve been beaten up physically, mentally, and emotionally.”

Turns out, the track mishaps were a bonding agent for Meyers and Williams, who raced together just once on the World Cup circuit this season.
“Lauryn has been there for me, and she’s the most positive person I have ever met,” Meyers said. “It’s been incredible. I thought when our sled broke, it was over. She’s held me together.”

Bobsled coaches took a risk pairing Williams with Meyers instead of Evans, who finished in the top three five times in six races with Meyers.

Evans said she questioned the move at first, too. But now she’s on the verge of a medal with Greubel, who overcame a torn ACL in 2011 and paid her own way in Europe to get more driving experience.

Gruebel wasn’t on the World Cup team in 2011-12, but she had to sharpen her driving skills and decided to compete on the Europa Cup tour — bobsled’s minor leagues.

It wasn’t easy. Out of her pocket, she rented rooms, a bobsled and a truck — stick shift, no less — driving from one European mountain to another and racing, never knowing what would come of it.

“We were thinking of ways to be frugal and shipped about 70 pound of dry food — ramen noodles, packets of tuna, protein bars. We didn’t have any money,” Greubel said.

“That was a hard time to get through but made me realize how bad I wanted it and what I was willing to do to get through it. I needed to do it and I got through it, and here I am today.”

On Wednesday, she is two heats from an Olympic medal.

“That was definitely the goal going into the Olympics. Aja and I had (a medal) on our minds,” Greubel said. “It’s right where we want to be, and in a good position to fight back and try to move up.”

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Lauryn Williams In USA-1 At Sochi Games

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Lauryn Williams thought about quitting bobsledding after her very first ride four months ago.

She stuck around, and another Olympic medal may be her reward.

Williams' improbable story grew Saturday when she was selected to push the USA-1 sled driven by Elana Meyers at the Sochi Olympics. That decision legitimizes her chance of becoming only the second person to win gold in two sports at the summer and winter games, after she helped the U.S. win the 4x100-meter relay at the London Games two years ago.

"Incredible," U.S. coach Todd Hays said after the decisions were made. "I would have bet anybody any amount of money that no person could walk on this team as a rookie and make the team, let alone actually be in USA-1. But you look at Lauryn's resume and it tells you what type of athlete she is. She's one of the greatest U.S. sprinters of all time, incredibly talented, incredibly powerful with an incredible work ethic."

Lolo Jones, another track Olympian-turned-bobsledder, and the person who recruited Williams to sliding, will push the USA-3 sled driven by Jazmine Fenlator of Wayne, N.J. In USA-2, it's Jamie Greubel of Newtown, Pa. driving with brakeman Aja Evans of Chicago.

Jones, of Des Moines, Iowa, and Williams, of Rochester, Penn., are becoming the ninth and 10th Americans to compete in both the summer and winter Olympics.

"I came here to help this team, and wherever the coaches think is the best place for me to help is where I'm going to be," Williams said before the pairings were known. "And I'm going to push as hard as I can. ... I'm excited. I love everyone on this team and I'm going to do the best job that I can."

Meyers, from Douglasville, Ga., drove to either gold or silver medals in seven of the eight World Cup races this season, finishing one point behind Kaillie Humphries of Canada in the season long standings. Meyers and Williams were paired together once, earning silver.

Greubel and Evans also raced together once this season, finishing fourth. Fenlator was with Jones — who missed medals in the hurdles at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 — three times in World Cup races this winter, with seventh being their top finish.

"We have three great brakemen. That's the best-case scenario," Meyers said. "Regardless of who's in my sled, I'm going to have a great push, so that's a very comforting feeling going in."

The American women came into the season talking about sweeping the podium, something the U.S. has done only twice in any event at the Winter Olympics, claiming gold, silver and bronze in men's figure skating in 1956, then again in a men's snowboard event in 2002.

It's not totally farfetched. In the World Cup standings, Greubel finished third, Fenlator was seventh, and the U.S. swept one podium — a gold for Meyers and a two-way tie between Greubel and Fenlator for silver — in a World Cup race at Park City earlier this season.

"We're going to go for it," Meyers said. "I think we have the brakemen, we have the equipment and now it's just figuring out this track."

The men's two-man pairings also were revealed Saturday, with Steve Langton tabbed to push the USA-1 two-man sled driven by Steven Holcomb. Holcomb and Langton won a world title together in 2012.

The other two-man pairings for the U.S. include Nick Cunningham driving with Dallas Robinson, along with Cory Butner driving with brakeman Chris Fogt.
None of those picks were particularly surprising.

Williams being in USA-1 for the women's race, that one will surely raise eyebrows. She was going to be a financial planner a few months ago before deciding almost on a whim to go to Lake Placid, N.Y. and see what bobsledding was all about.

It's now within the realm of possibility that she can join Eddie Eagan — an American who won gold as a boxer at the 1920 Summer Olympics, then as a bobsledder at the 1932 Winter Olympics — on one of the most elite Olympic lists.

"You combine that everything she is together," Hays said, "and you find a girl who can make herself great at just about anything."

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Lauryn Williams, an Olympian for all seasons

When the six-woman USA Olympic bobsleigh team was announced on 19 January 2014 it included two names more familiar to athletics fans than Winter sports aficionados: Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams. Like former hurdler Jones, Williams had converted from the track, having competed as a sprinter for Team USA at three editions of the Summer Games in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

She enjoyed a string of successes as a track athlete, including a silver medal in the 100m at Athens 2004, two golds in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki (FIN), and another 4x100m gold at the Worlds in Osaka (JPN) in 2007. Five years later came her crowning glory on the track when she helped Team USA win Olympic gold in the 4x100m relay at London 2012.

Williams describes what happened next: “In July 2013, a nagging injury left me unable to finish what was likely to be my final track season. I returned to the states feeling dejected. But a fortuitous conversation with Lolo Jones, a hurdler known for joining the bobsled ranks in the midst of her track career, changed my mood.

“After our conversation, my interest was piqued, and with stage 1 of the trials looming, I decided to hop on a plane to Calgary and give bobsledding a try. With just one training session under my belt and an injured leg, I managed to finish third in the Push Championships and my bobsled adventure began.”

An exciting new chapter
That adventure certainly got off to an impressive start for the former sprinter, who had recorded a personal best of 10.88 in the 100m and was now channelling all of her explosive power and pace into her new role as brakewoman.

Williams competed in her first FIBT World Cup event on 7 December 2013 in Park City (USA), where she teamed up with pilot Jazmine Fenlator. The pair finished joint second with Greubel/Jones, behind Meyers/Evans to ensure an all-American podium.

On 14 December in Lake Placid (USA), Williams was brakewoman for Elana Meyers, who took second place behind the Canadian bob piloted by Kaillie Humphries. And on 19 January, the day the USA team was announced, Williams was in action again in Igls (AUT), this time with Jamie Greubel, and she enjoyed her first World Cup victory. A delighted Greubel was in no doubt as to the foundations of their success. “Thanks to Lauryn who gave me such a good start!” declared the pilot as the pair stood on top of the podium.

Williams competed in four World Cup events in the 2013-2014 season, pushing behind all three of the USA pilots who will feature at Sochi, and sharing the podium with each one of them!

Only eight American athletes had ever competed in the Summer and Winter Games before Jones and Williams, and only one of them, Edward Eagan, managed to win gold in both: boxing in 1920 and bobsleigh in 1932. In fact, Eagan remains the only athlete in history to achieve a Summer-Winter golden double.

The USA has featured on the podium ever since the two-women bobsleigh event was introduced to the Olympic Winter programme, winning gold in 2002, silver in 2006 and bronze in 2010.

Williams will be hoping she can help maintain that proud tradition, take her personal Olympic medal tally to three, and maybe even emulate Eagan’s unique double.

“I will be representing the USA after only six months in this sport,” she reflects. “I can’t tell the future, but I’m extremely enthused about this journey and the opportunity to make the most of another chapter in the exciting story that is my life.”

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Former sprinter Lauryn Williams working to master bobsled

Training Sunday, several days after the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation announced she had made the team for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Lauryn Williams was even harder at work.

“Worst push of the season, but no time to dwell,” Williams tweeted. “My focus is on being better because Jamie Greubel is counting on me.”

Greubel is the pilot and Williams the brakeman of a U.S. sled that has a shot at the podium in Sochi, when the games begin Feb. 6.

Williams, fresh from a gold medal in the 4x100-meter relay at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, is responsible for giving the sled a good shove at the top of the track and helping to get it through the twists and high-banked turns, at speeds that are regularly at least 90 miles per hour, straining against significant G-forces to keep the sled on the cleanest, quickest line.

“You never get used to being an Olympian; to be named to an Olympic team is always an honor because there is no guarantee that you will make it,” she said, Monday, as she traveled to Sochi. “I am very honored and excited to represent my family, friends and my country in the Olympics.”

Williams and Greubel scored gold Sept. 19 at the last World Cup event in Iglis, Austria, raising some expectations.

“I honestly haven’t thought much about it because this isn’t about me,” she said. “I am part of a 2-person team and in order for us to win, I have to be at my best and do my best; that’s all I’ve been thinking about since the team was named.

“I know that my performance affects someone else's performance and I don’t want to let my team down so that is my focus”

Although she lives outside of Pittsburgh, Williams spent some of her childhood in Metro Detroit.

A total of 13 athletes who list their hometowns in Michigan made the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, the United States Olympic Committee announced Monday. The announcements make official what some of the governing bodies of the sports, like the bobsled and skeleton group, already determined, rarely making changes.

And there are many other althletes and others with significant connections to the state, including Williams; Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who made the U.S. team; men’s figure skater Jeremy Abbott, who lives most of the year in Metro Detroit while training at the Detroit Skate Club, in Bloomfield Hills; U.S. luge coach Mark Grimmette, who was born in Muskegon and who lives in Ann Arbor; and Dan Bylsma, coach of the U.S. men’s hockey team and the Penguins of the NHL, who was born in Grand Haven.

That is not to mention 10 Red Wings, who will play for the Slovakia, Russia, Canada and Mike Babcock, Steve Yzerman and Ken Holland, a trio that coaches and manages the men’s hockey team for Canada.

Also, Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the ice dancing duo that won the gold medal four years ago in Vancouver and train at the Arctic Edge in Canton, and Patrick Chan, the three time men’s world champion, who trains at the Detroit Skating Club.

For Williams, the selection capped a transition from track and field. She won the gold medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

“It’s hard to say that I feel fully like a bobsledder since I’ve only being doing it for six months, compared to track and field which I did for more than 20 years,” she said.

“While I’m more comfortable in a sled with each passing day, it is still scary and I’m still learning things from my teammates every day. However, it’s hard not to say that I’m fully a bobsledder because of the way my teammates have embraced me and welcomed me into the wolfpack!”

Possessed of an easy sense of humor, Williams has done a lot of joking about her transition from track star to the bobsled track. Another U.S. track star, Lolo Jones, who made the transition earlier, helped get her involved.

“Basically, I asked her what it was like. She said it was a lot of fun, there was good team camaraderie and she thought I would be good at it,” Williams said.
“She said it involved a lot of eating and weight-lifting,” she said, laughing. “Those are two things I like to do, so I thought it would be a lot of fun.”

As for her thoughts on executing the precise timing of the drive from the starting gate and getting in the sled in good order, Williams said, “I just tell myself, `Don’t get left behind.’ I just push the sled.

“I tell myself I’m racing her (Greubel). But once the driver is in, you don’t want to let the sled go down without you.”

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Lauryn Williams picked for U.S. Olympic team

Lauryn Williams and Lolo Jones were selected for the U.S. bobsled team that will compete in next month’s Sochi Olympics.

They are now positioned to join a group of eight other Americans who have competed in both the Summer and Winter Games. Williams is a three-time summer Olympian who helped the U.S. win a gold medal in the 400-meter relay at the London Games. Jones is a two-time veteran of the summer games in the 100-meter hurdles, missing out on gold in Beijing after a late stumble.

Jones is in her second season of bobsledding, then recruited Williams to the sport last year. They will join Aja Evans, another Winter Olympic first-timer, as the push athletes in Sochi, along with drivers Jamie Greubel, Elana Meyers and Jazmine Fenlator.

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Lauryn Williams seeks Sochi spot, praises teammates

U.S. bobsledder Lauryn Williams envisioned potential problems.

A two-time Olympic track and field medalist, including gold at the 2012 London Games, gives bobsled a try in an Olympic season competing with other athletes who have given years of their lives to an unheralded pursuit.

Yeah, there could be issues.

"I had prepared for the worst – hearing some of things that had taken place in the past and nine women together. I've worked with women in the past. I was a little bit nervous about it initially," Williams said."I can see how it can be messy."

But it never turned ugly, Williams said.

"You have to have really good character. That's what I've learned," Williams said. "We're really fortunate we have girls who are here for the greater good. From the very first day, everyone took me under their wing and showed me this would be a positive environment.

"As long as you have positive energy, they have plenty of positive energy to reciprocate. They're willing to help any way they can.

"It's not really something you're doing for the fame or the fortune. It's pretty blue collar in that respect. People who are here really love the sport, and they want to grow the sport. That's the reason they're able to put the competitive nature of our relationship aside and be good mentors to me."

That help along with Williams' rapid grasp of the sport has given her a chance to make the U.S. women's bobsled team as a brakeman/push athlete for the Sochi Olympics in February.

With her strength and speed, she is a natural. The question now: In a deep, competitive field of push athletes, which includes fellow U.S. track star Lolo Jones, will Williams make the team? Brakemen Katie Eberling, Aja Evans, Williams and Jones have all won medals this season and Emily Azevedo has finished fourth three times.

Williams, 30, is expected to find out Sunday when the team is announced after a World Cup race in Igles, Austria. Williams is scheduled to race with pilot Jamie Greubel. Jones will race with pilot Jazmine Fenlator and Evans is paired with pilot Elana Meyers.

In the three World Cup events she has raced in this season, Williams took silver with Fenlator in Park City, silver with Meyers in Lake Placid and ninth with Fenlator in Winterberg, Germany.

Her start times – the beginning of the race where athletes push the bobsled before hopping in – have been comparable and sometimes better than other U.S. brakemen.

The U.S. will field a great team of push athletes, but talented brakeman will be left off the team, disappointed.

"I don't know if my number's going to be called," Williams said. "I've definitely enjoyed the journey. It's been awesome already and I've enjoyed every moment. I came in with the attitude of how can I be helpful to the team. How can I make this a good experience for everyone whether I'm going to be on the Olympic team or not?"

Williams' first run down a track in a bobsled came in July. "I remember swearing and praying. … This is a roller coaster without a seat belt," she said.

Now? "It's not quite the same feeling."

Williams doesn't know if she will continue with bobsled after this season. She saw a window to give it a try. "I got into it at a convenient time," she said. "It was an Olympic year and I could go for it and be done. But I'm already getting pretty attached to the girls, and they're definitely talking about next year and the years to come. They're talking about driving school.

"I'm 10 years into elite sports so I don't know if I have the same window as everyone else."

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Lolo Jones, Lauryn Williams set for final bobsled race before Olympic Team named

Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams get one more chance to impress U.S. bobsled Olympic Team selectors Sunday.

Jones and Williams were named as two of three U.S. push athletes for a World Cup event in Igls, Austria. The three Olympic push athletes will be chosen by a selection committee and are expected to be nominated as part of the full Olympic Team on Sunday night.

In Igls, Jones will pair with USA-3 driver Jazmine Fenlator. Williams will pair with USA-2 driver Jamie Greubel. USA-1 driver Elana Meyers is with her usual push athlete, Aja Evans.

The other push athletes in the running to make the Olympic Team are Katie Eberling, who usually races with Greubel, and Emily Azevedo, the only push athlete with Winter Olympic experience.

Jones, a two-time Olympic hurdler, has raced with Fenlator more than any other driver since taking up bobsled last season. Williams, a three-time Olympic sprinter, is in her rookie season of bobsled.

The makeup of the U.S. men’s Olympic bobsled team is also very much in question going into Igls.

The U.S. will very likely qualify three two-man sleds and two four-man sleds for Sochi. That means Cory Butner and Nick Cunningham are essentially vying for one four-man spot behind Steven Holcomb.

Butner is ranked No. 16 in the world in four-man with 652 points, adding up a driver’s six best results this season. Cunningham is ranked No. 17 with 644 points.

The eight-point margin is the difference between one spot in the standings of a single race. It is yet to be determined if the second U.S. sled in the four-man will be based on FIBT rankings or other criteria.

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Sprinter Lauryn Williams switches to the bobsled

Lauryn Williams left Pittsburgh a dozen years ago for the University of Miami's elite track and field program and never looked back, making her home in sunny South Florida, where she set her sights on becoming an Olympic champion.

It was nothing against Western Pennsylvania. She held a special place in her heart for her hometown of Rochester, but Miami was a natural fit for a world-class sprinter. She could train outside 365 days a year -- give or take a hurricane warning or two -- without fear of even a regular old cold front blowing through.

So to catch a glimpse of her Monday afternoon, bundled up in a red jacket in the lobby of a hotel in Winterberg, Germany, streaming live from her iPhone's FaceTime app, it was hard not to share an irony-laced chuckle with Ms. Williams.

Another chapter has begun, and if you know the heroine of this story, no plot turn should come as a surprise. Lauryn Williams, bobsledder. What, did you think that she was just going to retire from track and field and quietly disappear, toil away at a day job, find a husband, start a family? Ms. Williams, 30, is an adventure seeker, and this latest quest, to make the U.S. Olympic bobsled team for next month's Sochi Winter Games, is rich with intrigue. Never mind the idea of her competing in sub-zero temperatures wearing nothing but a spandex suit, asking for her trademark dreadlocks to freeze over.

"I've done a lot of channeling my inner childhood," Ms. Williams said, laughing. "I've been spoiled in Florida. The last race was -17 degrees. The high that day was 5. There was no indoor facility to warm up in. It was quite different."

What isn't different is the deep reservoir of competitive hunger that dwells within Ms. Williams, who won a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Games in the 100-meter dash, followed by a fourth-place finish in the 2008 Beijing Games. She took the 2010 season off, did some soul searching, then returned to the track in time to qualify for the 2012 London Games as an alternate. She was one of four runners who blew away the field in the semifinals of the 100-meter relay and brought home her first gold medal, even though she didn't run in the final.

After London, Ms. Williams knew that her days as a track star were numbered. An injury in the summer of 2013 forced her to retire, at peace with an illustrious career that many would not have predicted based on her 5-foot-3 frame. But Ms. Williams' legs could churn faster than most others in the world. Where would they take her now?

One day, she was at the airport and ran into Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, who made her move to the bobsled in 2012. Ms. Jones told Ms. Williams about the "brakeman" spot in the two-woman tandem. Brakemen need to be able to run fast and generate enough power to give the driver an edge. Ms. Williams figured, why not?

She showed up at the U.S. National Push Championships in July in Calgary, one of 22 women with varying degrees of experience. With a bum leg and only one training session, she finished third. Soon, she'd have her first actual bobsled experience.

"I compare it to a roller coaster," Ms. Williams said. "Multiply it times 10, take the seat belts out, and yeah, that's bobsled."

Ms. Williams likes roller coasters (she went to Kennywood every year growing up, but admits that her favorite coasters were at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio). As thrilling as each bobsled run is for her, she seems to have it under control. In her first two World Cup races in December, she and her driver finished with silver.

There are three World Cup races left -- this weekend in Winterberg, next weekend in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the next in Igls, Austria -- before the Olympic team will be announced on Jan. 19. There are six brakemen left who are competing for three spots. The selection will be made based on finishes down the stretch and overall chemistry with the drivers.

In a short time, Ms. Williams has proven herself to be a legitimate contender for Sochi, and, unexpectedly, her lifelong Olympic dream has been extended -- albeit into colder territory.

"I'm not surprised, because I know how I work under pressure," Ms. Williams said. "For this, someone else is depending on you. It's just like a relay. Your performance makes a difference for their performance. I think I've done really well because I know the driver is counting on me."

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Lauryn Williams eyes Olympic double

Lauryn Williams' transition from Olympic track and field star to bobsled hopeful has been humbling and successful, not to mention a bit terrifying.

As fast as Williams was on land, it's a different experience rocketing down an icy track in a 400-pound sled at speeds up to 90 mph.

“I knew so little (the first time down the track), and I ran and jumped in, and it was just a combination of swearing and praying the whole way down,” said Williams, a former Rochester High star who won WPIAL and PIAA track titles. “I thought, ‘I don't know what I got myself into,' and I was 50-50 whether I was going to come back the next day.”

Elite athletes such as Williams aren't known for backing down from challenges, however, and she returned the next day. Williams, who announced her retirement from track competition in June, finished third in the 2013 Women's Bobsled Push Championships in Calgary in July. She, fellow Olympic track star Lolo Jones and seven other women were named to Team USA at the end of October and are in the midst of the competition season that will play a large part in determining who goes to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February.

No female U.S. track and field Olympic athlete has competed in the Winter Games. The team will be announced Jan. 19.

Jazmine Fenlator, who drove the sled with Jones as the pusher in last year's World Cup circuit, ran track at Rider, and her coach not only suggested she consider bobsled but also submitted an athletic resume on her behalf.

“I thought it was a joke at first, watching “Cool Runnings” growing up, and I'm half Jamaican so I was like, ‘Come on, Coach, this isn't funny,' ” she said. “But I always grew up knowing that if a door opens, you never know what's on the other side. Take a risk because it could lead you down another path.”

Fenlator said the training for bobsled is similar to track and field.

“Our sled is 400 pounds, and you have to accelerate and propel that, and that's what you do as a track and field athlete,” she said. “You're propelling your body weight as fast as possible, whether you're long jumping, throwing an implement or running the 100 meters.”

Learning the bobsled equipment and nuances of the sport is the challenging part, Fenlator said. There are only a certain number of tracks in the world, athletes have only a limited amount of time to spend on those tracks, and they also serve as their own mechanics and caddies. Growing comfortable with the speed and gravitational forces adds another layer to the process.

Williams, who was recruited by Jones, said it was humbling to be a “fish out of water,” taking direction from others and becoming a student again after so many years of competing as an elite athlete on the track.

“I saw the run and jump-in part (of bobsled) and thought that was the extent of it, but a lot goes on behind the scenes,” Williams said.

Williams is aware that competing in the Summer and Winter Olympics would land her in rare company, but that isn't why she's doing it.

“I didn't get into this to be famous or be one of the few black female bobsledders or first to compete in the winter and summer,” she said. “That's all really cool, but I'm here more for the adventure and the fun, to add another story to my life.”

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Lauryn Williams On US Bobsled Team

Lolo Jones is a step closer to the Sochi Games, and Lauryn Williams might not have raced in her final Olympics after all.

Jones and Williams are best known for their track accomplishments, Jones as one of the world's elite hurdlers and Williams as an NCAA champion and Olympic gold medalist sprinter.

They were among nine women chosen Saturday for the U.S. bobsled national team, putting them squarely into the mix for spots in Sochi in February.

U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation CEO Darrin Steele called the team "the fastest and most prepared group of athletes we've ever seen."

"It was difficult to narrow the women's push field to six and it will be even more challenging to select the top three for the Olympic team in a few months," Steele said in a statement shortly after Saturday's announcement was made in Park City, Utah. "The hard work and dedication has paid off and I couldn't be more proud of all these athletes."

Elana Meyers will drive USA-1, Jamie Greubel will drive USA-2 and Jazmine Fenlator will drive USA-3. Meyers was a bronze medalist as a push athlete at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

"Jazmine, Elana and I all started driving around the same time so we have that kind of friendly rivalry and I think it works really well for us," Greubel said. "We work together and shake each other's hands at the end of the day, no matter who's on top. I really respect the other girls that are drivers on the team. They definitely help push me to be a better athlete."

The men's national team will be announced Sunday.

Jones is on the women's national team for the second straight season established herself quickly last season on the World Cup circuit. Williams is a rookie who was largely recruited by Jones, especially after the former Miami Hurricane star announced her retirement from track not long after helping the U.S. win the 4x100-meter relay gold medal at the London Olympics.

Jones finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at the London Games and four years earlier in Beijing was in position to win gold when she hit the ninth of 10 hurdles and wound up seventh.

"Last year I was just soaking everything in. It was an adventure, it was fun, it was nothing really on the line for me," Jones said. "It was just kind of an escape and there were no expectations. So now coming into my second year, they expect me to be more knowledgeable and more of a leader."

Also selected as push athletes were 2010 Olympian Emily Azevedo, two-time national push champion Aja Evans, two-time world championship medalist Katie Eberling and Army soldier-athlete Kristi Koplin.

Williams touched a bobsled for the first time in July. A week later, she placed third in the national push championships. What wasn't even fathomable — a sprinter who's spent much of the last 15 years in Miami getting into a winter sport and qualifying for the Olympics almost on a whim — now seems more than a little bit possible.

"I know this is the right place for me right now," Williams said. "I've learned so much in the two months already. And do I want to make it all the way to the end? Certainly."

Jones said she recognized right away that Williams, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the 100-meter dash, had all the right tools for sliding.

"She's very humble," Jones said. "I was like, 'Oh, gosh, I'm going to regret recruiting her if she beats me out for the team.' But I have a lot of respect for Lauryn and I just couldn't see her taking a stab at it. She already has the gold and the silver. I told her she's losing nothing and just go for it."

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Lauryn Williams trains with St. Luke's Performance Medicine

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Olympic gold medalist Lauryn Williams will be signing autographs in the St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital (SLWH) Performance Medicine booth at The Woodlands Marathon Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, March 1.

Williams, a current St. Luke’s Performance Medicine athlete and anchor of the 4 x 100 meter relay team that won gold and set a new world record at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, will be signing autographs and greeting fans from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Expo is being hosted in the Six Pines Parking Lot at 9696 Six Pines Drive in The Woodlands.

Lauryn recently moved to The Woodlands in October with her boyfriend who is a local doctor in a private practice in Conroe. For the past three months she has been doing preventative training with St. Luke's Performance Medicine and additional training in College Station, where she also works part-time.

"I want to do financial planning. I got a degree in Finance from the University of Miami," said Williams. Lauryn is currently working to become a Certified Financial Planner while enjoying her new home here in Texas.

Ranked since she was 19 years old, Lauryn is a humble and thankful individual, who cares about "...anything that will make you well-rounded." When she won Olympic Gold her first thought was of redemption, after the last two teams dropped the baton mid-race. This being her third and perhaps last Olympic competition she was just thankful she had three chances at a 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunity.

As Lauryn cites what she calls "universal intangible things" as the binding that allows us all to communicate regardless of language and culture, she should have no problem adapting to our unique Texas atmosphere. She loves that our southern hospitality is authentic and is having no trouble branching out in our community daily.

Lauryn will even be attending her first Houston Rodeo this weekend when she sees Mary J. Blige in concert. She is very excited about the new experience and looks forward to getting out on the dance floor to learn some line dancing.

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