U.S. Sprinter Lauryn Williams Tries To Make U.S. Bobsled Team

Lauryn Williams hopes to put her sprinting skills to use in bobsled. Photo: www.photorun.net

The two-time Olympic medalist on the track could potentially compete at the upcoming Winter Games.

Bobsled, which has a history of seeing former track & field athletes — sprinters, mostly — join its ranks, has another new member: American Lauryn Williams.

Williams, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the 200m and the gold medalist with the 4x100m relay team at the London Games last summer, announced her retirement from the track in June. And now, like fellow American Lolo Jones (a hurdler), she has decided to give bobsled a try.

Williams, according to the Associated Press, was slated to compete in the U.S. Bobsled Push Championships in Calgary on Thursday. That’s the first step to making the World Cup squad, which competes starting in the fall.

If Williams makes the team and does well enough, she could qualify for the Sochi Olympics next February.

Williams’ bobsled career actually started earlier this week, when she went through a combine that had new athletes sprinting, jumping, tossing shot puts, and lifting weights. Williams won all but one of the sprints she contested — a 15-meter race, which she lost by .01 seconds to Jones.

“I love this competition and can’t wait to see who shows up to make a statement,” U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation CEO Darrin Steele said of Thursday’s event. “It’s the only time our push athletes get to showcase their individual abilities since they are pushing on their own in this competition.”

Jones competed on the international World Cup circuit last winter, along with fellow U.S. track athlete Tianna Madison. Jones and her driver, Jazmine Fenlator, finished second in the first World Cup race of Jones’ career. Jones ended her season in January by earning a gold medal in the team competition at the FIBT World Championships.

“It’s time,” Williams said when she retired. “Everybody’s going to pick theirs in the next couple years that are part of my age group, but my year is this year.”

Whether or not it’s her year on the cold, icy bobsled track remains to be seen.

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