Lauryn Williams became the first American athlete to medal in a Summer and Winter Olympics when she won the silver medal in the finals of the women’s bobsled. She is the fifth athlete to reach the accomplishment.
The track star was trying to become only the first woman and second athlete to win gold medals in both Games, after she and Elana Meyers couldn’t hold the Canadian team — the defending champions — on the second day of the women’s bobsled competition in Sochi.
Lauryn Williams joins Eddie Eagan as the only other American woman to medal in both Olympics — a double gold winner — in boxing in 1920 and in four-man bobsled in 1932.
The 30-year-old University of Miami alumn competed in three Summer Olympics and earned a gold medal in the 4 X 100 relay at the 2012 London Games and a silver medal in the 100 meters in 2004.
Canadians Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse rallied to win by one-tenth of a second.
“I didn’t come here to make history,” Lauryn Williams said afterwards. “I came here to help Team USA, and I feel like I did the best I could. I’m just happy to be here, and it wasn’t about history for me.”
Meyers and Williams were leading by 0.23 seconds at the start of the day, while the Canadians had the fastest time in Wednesday’s first run with 57.57 to narrow their lead to 0.11 seconds on the course at the Sanki Sliding Center.
As track conditions continued to worsen, Canada kept the pressure on with a final run of 57.92.
In the final of the bobsled Lauryn Williams was faster at the start, however Meyers hit the wall twice in the first few runs and even got the sled sideways briefly on the lower part of the course. That was it, it would be a silver for USA-1.
“I fought every single second down the track and Lauryn really dug it out at the start,” Meyers said. “We gave everything we had and left it all out there. (…) We couldn’t be happier with that, and hopefully America will forgive me for letting gold slip away.”
Meanwhile the USA-2 team of Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans, hung on to third place to secure the bronze giving the US two medals in women’s bobsled for the first time ever. Meyers also became the first American woman with two bobsled medals.