(Front) Elana Meyers Taylor celebrates at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang on Feb. 21, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
There will be a lot of new faces in Team USA bobsleds this upcoming world cup season, but also some Olympians to help the rookies along the way.
USA Bobsled & Skeleton announced the 2018-19 national team on Friday, and 13 of the 17 push athletes are first-timers.
“We are going to be leaning on the veterans, coaches and drivers to help turn this high-potential rookie class into world-class bobsled athletes,” said USABS CEO Darrin Steele in a press release. “There will be a steep learning curve, but after what we’ve seen from this group in push championships and team trials, we expect big things.”
Team USA will have plenty of experience to lean on in the pilot’s seat, where three of the six are Olympians. Olympic gold medalist Justin Olsen and 2018 Olympian Codie Bascue will drive on the men’s side, along with world cup rookie Geoffrey Gadbois.
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The women’s side is highlighted by three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor. She is joined by Brittany Reinbolt and Nicole Vogt.
Seventeen push athletes were named to the pool. They come from a variety of places, from Germany to Nebraska, and different backgrounds, from college athletics to the U.S. military.
Eleven athletes were named to the three men’s sleds. They are 2018 Olympian Hakeem Abdul-Saboor, Adrian Adams, Kyler Allison, Chris Avery, Jacob Gourley, Kris Horn, Dakota Lynch, Blaine McConnell, 2018 Olympic alternate Jimmy Reed, Kyle Wilcox and 2017 Next Olympic Hopeful winner Josh Williamson.
Six push athletes are on the women’s side. They are Nicole Brungardt, Jessica Davis, 2018 Olympic silver medalist Lauren Gibbs, Sylvia Hoffman, Megan Kelly and Lake Kwaza.
The 2018-19 world cup season kicks off Dec. 3 in Sigulda, Latvia. The season concludes with the world championships from Whistler, British Columbia, on March 10.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.