2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Bobsled Team Announced
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 13)- USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS) today announced the four athletes who have been selected to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Bobsled Team to compete in PyeongChang, South Korea for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games.
“The women’s team has been stacked with outstanding talent for the last three Olympic cycles and this year is no exception,” said USABS CEO Darrin Steele. “Six push athletes have been battling it out week after week and winning medals on the World Cup circuit this year, but we only have two spots for the Games. We don’t take this decision light-heartedly. The selection committee chose the athletes they think have the best chance of bringing home hardware from Korea for Team USA. I wish we could take the entire team with us because they’ve all proven how hard-working and determined they are in addition to being incredibly talented.”
Pilots Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) and Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) headline the women’s squad. Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) earned her spot in the back of Meyers Taylor’s sled, while 2014 Olympic bronze medal teammates Greubel Poser and Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.) will once again be paired together in PyeongChang.
Briauna Jones (Charlotte, N.C.) has been selected as a replacement athlete and will travel to PyeongChang. Jones can substitute for competing athletes during training runs, and is eligible to compete in the event of an injury or illness. If a replacement is needed, the selection committee will reevaluate the teams before making a nomination.
Meyers Taylor is a two-time Olympic medalist; she claimed bronze in the backseat of Erin Pac’s sled at the 2010 Vancouver Games and silver as a pilot at the 2014 Sochi Games. Meyers Taylor is hoping to complete her set with gold in PyeongChang. Greubel Poser made her Olympic debut in 2014 and claimed bronze to complete a North American sweep of the medals behind Canadian Kaillie Humphries and teammate Meyers Taylor. The Americans are favored to medal again in 2018 after Greubel Poser and Meyers Taylor finished 1-2, respectively, in the Olympic test event in PyeongChang last March.
Gibbs began bobsledding — and made her first national team — during the 2014-2015 season. She has been on the national team every year since, and her 11 World Cup medals are highlighted by a World Championship bronze with Meyers Taylor in the 2016 World Championships in Igls, Austria. Evans won bronze with Greubel Poser at the 2014 Sochi Games before taking two years off from the sport. She returned in 2016-2017 and has since won seven World Cup medals and bronze at the 2017 World Championships in Koenigssee, Germany with Greubel Poser.
Jones made her first national team in the 2016-2017 season just months after beginning the sport, and won her first World Cup medal, a gold with Meyers Taylor, in St. Moritz, Switzerland last year. Jones was also named last season's USABS Rookie of the Year.
Forty women’s athletes in 20 sleds are expected to compete for the Olympic title. The U.S. is one of four nations to qualify two sleds in women’s bobsled. International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation will officially announce the quota allocation following the conclusion of the St. Moritz World Cup on Sunday, Jan. 14.
A number of components were considered when the selection committee decided the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Bobsled Team roster, including combine test and U.S. National Push Championship results, U.S. National Team Trials finishes, driver input, proven international experience with a history of results and team combinations working well together, trend of push times, start rank and velocity, and current season results.
The U.S. is the only nation to medal in every women’s bobsled Olympic event since the discipline made its debut at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers won the inaugural women’s bobsled race in 2002, and Flowers became the first African-American ever to win a gold medal at the Winter Games. Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming continued the medal tradition by winning silver at the 2006 Torino Games, while Pac and Meyers Taylor claimed the bronze medal in 2010. Meyers Taylor etched her name in Olympic history again in 2014, claiming silver as a pilot with Lauryn Williams. Williams joined an exclusive club of only four other athletes to win medals in both the Winter and Summer Games, and the first American woman to accomplish the feat. Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans finished third in 2014 to earn the fifth Olympic medal for the U.S. women’s program to date.
The Olympic bobsled and skeleton events are held in a four-heat format over two days of racing with two heats on each day. The women’s bobsled competition will take place from Feb. 20-21.
The 2018 U.S. Olympic Skeleton and Men’s Bobsled teams will be named on Monday, Jan. 15.
All U.S. Olympic team selections are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at www.usabs.com.