U.S. women's bobsled team finishes 2-3 in La Plagne World Cup
Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
U.S. women’s bobsled team finishes 2-3 in La Plagne World Cup
LA PLAGNE, France (Dec. 14, 2012)- The U.S. garnered silver and bronze medals in La Plagne’s women’s bobsled World Cup race this morning. Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.) and Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) earned their first career World Cup medal after racing to the finish for silver, while decorated duo Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) broke the start record en route to bronze.
“I’ve been so close and really wanted to break through to the medals, but I just wasn’t sure when it was going to happen,” Greubel said. “This is a blur for me. Emily and I are so excited, and it’s really neat to be on the podium with our teammates.”
Greubel missed most of last season while recovering from knee surgery, but returned with full strength and power this fall to emerge as one of the nation’s top pilots. Greubel has been on the cusp of medaling this season with two fourth-place results, and finally cracked the barrier to earn her first medal today.
Greubel and Azevedo pushed a start time of 6.52 seconds to give the Sliding for Hope sled momentum down the course. Greubel threaded together a smooth run to put the team in second position behind reigning Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries after the first heat.
U.S. women’s bobsled head coach Todd Hays wouldn’t allow his athletes to look at time sheets during training this week in an effort to keep them focused on learning the track instead of worrying about times. His method worked.
“I really didn’t know where we were positioned going into the race, but it helped me concentrate on what I needed to do on race day,” Greubel said. “Todd and Emily really helped me stay calm and focused between runs as well, which was great since I’ve never been in this position before. Todd told me to do the same thing I did on the first run, and I did.”
Greubel and Azevedo powered off the block 0.04 seconds faster in the final heat, and Greubel displayed poise as she navigated the sled to the finish to maintain their medal position. USA-2 clocked a two-run total of 2:03.57 for the silver medal, while Humphries and Chelsea Valois remain unbeatable. The Canadians won their fifth consecutive gold medal today with a two-run total of 2:03.30.
Azevedo began competing in 2006 and has a long list of accolades in the sport, including a fifth place finish at the 2010 Winter Olympics with driver Bree Schaaf. Yet the veteran has surprisingly never earned a World Cup medal until today.
“This has been a long time coming,” Azevedo said. “I feel like I finally got the monkey off my back, and I am really happy to break into the medals. Jamie did an awesome job driving and stayed composed today, and I’m proud of how we worked together. I’m happy we did so well as a team, and we’re moving forward to Sochi on the right path.”
Meyers and Eberling finished 0.24 seconds behind their teammates to claim the bronze medal and complete a North American sweep of the medals.
“This is pretty awesome,” Meyers said. “We were close to a North American sweep last week, but to be able to do it on a track we’re just learning is really cool. Every race is a learning experience still. Coming away with a medal is great, but it is still just part of the experience of getting to were we want to be in Sochi.”
Meyers and Eberling were the first competitors to descend the course today and were nestled just 0.04 seconds from USA-2 after the first run. The duo blasted the KOA sled off the block in 6.36 seconds to shatter the start record they set in last season’s World Cup event, and crossed the finish with a total time of 2:03.81 for third.
“Katie and I wanted to be aggressive, hoping to be fast,” Meyers said. “We really don’t know the time until we get to the finish, but it felt good. Katie is an awesome brakeman, and I can’t wait to see what we can do in the future.”
“This feels awesome,” Eberling said. “It was a great day all around for Team USA. We trained hard all summer and the results are showing that.”
Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) and Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa) had a strong showing today. The duo was seated in ninth after the first heat, but an improved start time of 6.47 seconds propelled USA-3 to the finish in 2:04.59 to move the team into eighth.
Today’s race concludes the first half of the tour for the women’s bobsled team, although the event will continue tomorrow with women’s skeleton and men’s two-man bobsled. The team will travel back to the U.S. early next week for the holiday break.
“I’m definitely excited to get some sleep and to spend time with family,” Eberling said. “There’s still another half of the season to go, so we’ll still be training during the break and hope to carry this momentum over to finish out the season strong.”
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Kaillie Humphries and Chelsea Valois (CAN) 2:03.30 (1:01.55, 1:01.75); 2. Jamie Greubel and Emily Azevedo (USA) 2:03.57 (1:01.75, 1:01.82); 3.Elana Meyers and Katie Eberling (USA) 2:03.81 (1:01.79, 1:02.02);…8. Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones (USA) 2:04.59 (1:02.35, 1:02.24);
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, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.