Feb. 14 U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team official training quotes

Feb. 14, 2014, 4:14 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, abird@usbsf.com

Feb. 14 U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team official training quotes

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (Feb. 14, 2014): The U.S. Olympic Women’s Bobsled Team took their first official training runs at the Sanki Sliding Center today, while the U.S. Olympic Men’s Bobsled Team took their third and fourth runs. Here are some of their reactions:

Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Ill.)

How easy the transition from track and field athlete to bobsledder was:

“I’m a very technical personal because I’m a hurdler, so that helped me to break it down. I don’t think it’s as easy as people assume. I think USA Bobsled just does a great job of recruiting some of the top track and field athletes in the world and so we make it look easy, but there are definitely moments at practice where we were pretty frustrated while trying to get the technique down.”

When asked if she feels any pressure here:

“Uh uh.  It’s completely different; it’s absolutely different.  There’s no pressure. It’s Jaz’s first Olympics so she’s just focused on having a good experience and just executing, that’s the goal for her. For me, it’s just all about being the best teammate and giving her the best and most amazing push and velocity that she can ever ask and hope for, and that’s what we’ve been doing.”

Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.)

“We’re hungry. We’re competitors and that’s what we do. We’re representing one of the best nations in the world, and I’m biased, but one of the best nations ever, and we’re hoping to sweep the podium. That’s what we want, to see three American flags. But at the end of the day, we’re super proud of how far we’ve come and we prepared ourselves as best as possible to represent our nation and everyone back home. At the end of the day we’re going to hold our heads high.”

Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.)

About rolling the sled out of corner 16 in today’s first run:

“I got in late to curve 16.  I didn’t even know it was possible to crash in curve 16, but then I got in late and I touched the sled. When you do that and get in late, the sled shoots to the roof, and when I touched it, the sled went down, shot straight down and got pressure at the end of the corner and tossed me over. Not fun.”

How she was able to go back to the start and take a second run:

“That’s the cool thing about bobsled, there’s that danger, that risk and possibility that something could go wrong. But I get to say, hey, you know what, I crashed, I took it to the face, but I’m going to go back up there and face my fear and do it again. I’m going to go through curve 16 and I’m going to nail it. That’s, to me, the coolest thing about bobsledding.  Every curve is a chance to fix something and every run is an opportunity to get better.”

Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.)

How she’s taking in the experience at the Olympics as a replacement athlete:

“It’s been a really positive experience. It’s been an out of body experience, and I realized how awesome it is to be in this atmosphere, just to feel that Olympic experience is awesome. I had to move past the heartbreak and negativity and just realize that if I don’t take this chance to enjoy it, I’ll regret it. So I’m just trying to have that mindset and be there for my teammates and whatever they need.”

“The volunteers and the facilities have been amazing, I have nothing but great things to say about this experience. The bar is set really high with the job that they’ve done here.”

Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.)

About her first official training runs:

“It’s good. My main goal in training is to work on things and not necessarily to expect perfect lines, but to focus on learning the track.  I feel pretty good about my runs today, and I’m happy with my training so far.”

Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.)

Regarding the support she has from her family, including her brother, Fred, an NFL player, and her uncle, Gary Matthews, former hitting coach of Chicago Cubs:

“I idolize my brother and my uncle, and to have such great figures in my life supporting me and saying that this is bigger than anything else in life that they’ve accomplished kind of gives me goose bumps.  It’s empowering to have that much support, it just keeps driving me more and more.”

Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah)

About how strong the push athletes are on the team:

“These push athletes are some of the most incredible athletes you’ll ever come across.  They’ve done a couple small pieces on them over the last few years, but I still don’t think people realize how strong these guys are, how big they, and how fast they are as well. These guys are incredible athletes.”

Regarding Meyers’ crash this morning:

“It’s part of the sport, it happens. You push it to the edge, and you know, we crashed a couple times this year. You’re trying to find speed and you only have six runs. If you think about it, we only have six minutes to figure it out before race day, so you’re doing what you have to do to find what works and what doesn’t.”

Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.)

How he felt about his runs today:

“To be able to come here and have all three of us testing different setups is nice because we all are within medal striking distance and can share and collaborate about what works.  We are narrowing it down to what the best setup is for this track and these conditions, and so far it’s been great.  I had two runs in the top five or six today, and they weren’t my best runs. I made some crucial errors, and that gives me confidence because I know I can still make up some time and speed.”

Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.)

Regarding his sled setup:

“It’s the second day of official training and we’re out here testing everything we can. We have six runs to test as many things as possible, and tomorrow we are going to train with the setup that I think I want to run.  It’s just nice to be sliding.  The track is holding up to the high temps, and I just really happy to be here.”

The men will have their final day of official training tomorrow from 11:50 a.m.-2 p.m. before two-man bobsled competition begins on Sunday at 8:15 p.m. The women still have two days of official training and they will be on ice again tomorrow from 10-11:30 a.m.

Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 719-207-5040 with media inquiries.

About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Century 21 Real Estate, CEVA Logistics, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, KBC Helmets, Eastern European Distribution Company, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, Inc., EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.