Two-time Olympian Lauryn Williams has lived her American dream. She’s won two Olympic medals, one of them gold, and she might literally be pushing for another when the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation announces (today at 6:30 p.m. ET) the athletes heading to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Williams (Miami, Fla.), who today won her first World Cup gold medal in the sport of bobsled, is a two-time track & field world champion who competed on U.S. National Teams for more than a decade.
She closed the chapter on her elite track & field career after winning gold in the 4x100 meter relay at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and her decorated career includes a silver medal won in the 100m at the Athens 2004 Games, three IAAF World Outdoor Championships and three runner-up finishes at other World Championship events.
She notes that although learning a new sport has been somewhat of a challenge, it all relates to a very familiar frame of reference.
“It’s like a relay,” said Williams “It’s not necessarily the fastest person. You have to have good cadence with the driver as you hit the sled, and you have to have good chemistry all the way around.”
Her training sessions can be upwards of 12-hour days, which include regular team workouts and maintaining the 400-plus, pound sled.
“I never imaged that I might have the opportunity to compete in the Summer and Winter Olympics. Not even a little bit. Not even six months ago,” she said. “I had no idea that would be an option for me."
Despite the other challenges that come with starting over, Williams sees it all as an opportunity.
“It's given me permission to move on. It’s given me that refreshing feeling that I once had at the beginning of track & field. It’s the feeling of being new to something and really having to depend on someone else while you’re learning.
“If I don’t make it, it will still sting a little because it’s something I wanted to accomplish. But I’ve enjoyed the ride every step of the way, and it’s all been wonderful.”
Williams won her first World Cup gold today as she competed alongside driver Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.) in Igls, Austria. U.S. Olympic Team selections for bobsled will be announced tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET.