Bobsled Preview

Four medals highlighted the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games for the U.S. bobsled team. As the squad readies itself for its next Olympic chapter in 2018, it will look to build on Steven Holcomb’s bronze medals in both two-man and four-man, as well as Elana Meyers Taylor’s silver and Jamie Greubel Poser’s bronze in the women’s discipline.
 
On the women’s side, two brakemen who are in contention for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, Aja Evans and Lolo Jones, have Olympic experience. Also competing for spots on the roster will be 2016-17 national team members Lauren Gibbs, a 2015 World Championship bronze medalist, Kehri Jones and Briauna Jones. Already Olympic medalists, Greubel Poser and Meyers Taylor return for their second and third Games, and will look to add to their combined three medals.

After the sudden, tragic loss of three-time Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb in May 2017, a group of talented pilots will be battling for one of the open spots, including two-time Olympian Nick Cunningham, 22-year-old up-and-comer Codie Bascue and Justin Olsen, an emerging talent who already has an Olympic gold in the backseat of Holcomb’s 2010 four-man sled. A large field of capable push athletes, including Olympic medalists Steven Langton and Chris Fogt, along with Evan Weinstock, who is emerging as one of the nation’s top push athletes, will also vie for the chance to compete with one of the selected pilots.

Storylines

  • Jamie Greubel Poser has an adopted sister from South Korea. When PyeongChang was announced as the host city for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, she “knew it was meant to be” because her family will now have the opportunity to reconnect with her sister’s culture.

  • Justin Olsen won an Olympic gold medal as a brakeman for pilot Steven Holcomb in 2010, and has since switched to driving. He is now considered one of the top-emerging American pilots.

  • Already a two-time Olympic medalist, Elana Meyers Taylor will be seeking her third Olympic podium finish in PyeongChang. A pioneer in the sport, she has also been working toward achieving greater gender equality in bobsled by competing in the four-man event with three male brakemen. She recently finished 13th out of 18 competitors at the 2016-17 Lake Placid World Cup, in which she was the only woman to race in the four-man event.

  • The U.S. bobsled team has several athletes and coaches who are also active or retired military. As participants in the World Class Athlete Program, these athletes and coaches are heavily involved in serving their country, both on and off the ice.

  • Chris Kinney has one of the more interesting stories on the men’s bobsled team. A push athlete primarily for Codie Bascue, Kinney is half-Japanese and grew up highly involved in Japanese culture. He is fluent in Japanese and before becoming a bobsledder, ran professionally in Japan. He is also a former All-American hurdler for Georgetown University.

Athletes To Watch

Codie Bascue
Bascue (Whitehall, New York) began piloting bobsleds at age 8, and the 2018 Olympics could be his chance to race at the highest level. After sweeping the 2016 Team USA Bobsled National Team Trials, Bascue earned a fourth-place finish at the Lake Placid, New York, leg of the four-person FIBT World Cup tour. The youngest member of the 2016-17 national team, he is currently in his third season on the world cup circuit and showing great promise as an emerging driver.

Jamie Greubel Poser
Already an Olympic bronze medalist, Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pennsylvania) will look to return to the Olympic stage for Team USA and improve her third-place finish from 2014. The former Cornell University track athlete had a breakout 2015-16 season that saw her earn six medals in seven FIBT World Cup races and finish second overall world cup rankings.

Elana Meyers Taylor 
One of the most decorated women's bobsled pilots in history, Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Georgia) has overcome several injuries since the Sochi Olympics and is seeking her third Olympic medal in PyeongChang. She has taken gold and bronze in the past two IBSF World Championships, and will look to battle for her first Olympic gold after taking bronze and silver in 2010 and 2014.

Justin Olsen 
After winning Olympic gold as a push athlete in 2010, Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) switched to the front of the sled, making his driving debut in 2015. Since then, he has emerged as one of Team USA's top young pilots, earning six North American Cup medals in his first two seasons before making his world cup debut as a pilot during the 2016-17 season.

Qualification

Nations will qualify based on IBSF Overall Ranking points during the 2017-18 season. The U.S can qualify up to three spots in each gender based on points earned during the qualification period that ends Jan. 14, 2018. In both men’s events, a total of 30 crews will compete, while the women’s competition will include 20 crews.

Click here to view the complete 2018 Olympic qualification procedures for bobsled.

Selection

The USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation will hold a trials race series in the fall of 2017 to determine which athletes will compete on the 2017-18 World Cup Tour. Exceptions may be granted to athletes who earn a bye onto the world cup team by virtue of their top-three finish at the 2017 FIBT World Championships. Athletes may then earn international points on the 2017-18 World Cup Tour and these points will count toward selection to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team. 

Editor’s Note: This selection process overview is designed to provide general information only and should not be relied upon by athletes attempting to make the U.S. Olympic Team. The selection process is formally governed by selection procedures published by each National Governing Body. Athletes and other individuals interested in the selection process should contact the appropriate NGB to obtain the full selection procedures, or to seek clarification of the process.

Key Dates

October 2017

2017-2018 U.S. World Cup Team Selection Series

November 2017-January 2018

2017-2018 U.S. World Cup Tour

Jan. 14, 2018

Cut-off for IBSF Overall Ranking Points

 Jan. 15, 2018 U.S. Olympic Team announcement