The U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team will be named in a little over two weeks. The scrutiny is on five women with the best chances of earning one of three push athlete spots.
Every week, three are chosen to compete in World Cup events. Four — Aja Evans, Katie Eberling, Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams — have made World Cup podiums this season. The fifth is the only one with Olympic bobsled experience, 2010 Olympian Emily Azevedo.
The U.S. driver-push athlete pairs for Saturday’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland, are as follows:
Elana Meyers-Aja Evans
Jamie Greubel-Emily Azevedo
Jazmine Fenlator-Katie Eberling
The U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation has been mixing and matching combinations this season with an eye on which pairs mesh well together and to get good looks at all the push athletes up for Olympic spots.
Meyers and Evans are expected to be paired together in Sochi and could win gold. Greubel has been paired with Eberling more than anybody else this season and last. Fenlator has spent plenty of time in the USA-3 sled with Jones.
Last week, Meyers teamed with Jones for the first time this season and took silver in Winterberg, Germany.
Jones hasn’t done many interviews since taking up bobsledding, but The Associated Press talked to her recently as she continues her quest for an Olympic medal.
“I’m so tired of hearing people say this is about the limelight,” Jones said. “It’s not a gimmick. It’s not for publicity. It never was. It’s always been about me achieving a dream and being able to tell that story down the road, that I never gave up and I fought hard.”
Athlete named to record seventh Winter Olympic Team
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Vonn will will return for the final women’s downhill training run on Monday at 9 p.m. ET. LIVE STREAM
Look closely at Lindsey Vonn.
When NBC cameras zoom in on the two-time Olympic medalist, viewers will notice that she wrote a couple of messages on her uniform in permanent marker.
On the thumb of her right glove, Vonn has the word “believe” in Greek. It mirrors a tattoo she has on the inside of a finger.
“Signifying my last Olympics [in 2018] and just need to believe in myself,” Vonn said to NBC’s Nick Zaccardi.
On her helmet, Vonn has the initials “D.K.” and a heart. It is meant to honor her late grandfather, Don Kildow.
Kildow, who served in the Korean War from 1952-54, died on Nov. 1. Watch to learn more about Vonn’s special relationship with her grandparents:
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — At the bottom of the Olympic aerials landing hill, where crashes are common and the term “slap back” is part of the everyday lingo, skiers spend almost as much time figuring out how to protect their heads as they do working on all those flips and spins.
“We learn how to fall,” U.S. jumper Jon Lillis said.
Elsewhere around the action-sports venue, that’s not so much the case.
Concussion dangers lurk everywhere — from the iced-over deck of the halfpipe, to the steeply pitched landings on the slopestyle course, to the careening twists and turns of the snowboard cross track, to the aerials course, where “slap back” is the term for when a skier’s head slaps backward against the snow. But at the Olympics, there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding who diagnoses head injuries, and no hard-and-fast protocol that athletes must clear to be allowed back on the slopes after a concussion.
“A bit concerning,” says neurologist Kevin Weber of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “Because you worry that athletes in other sports that may not be as popular as football are getting, I wouldn’t say ignored, but the concussions they’re getting are under-scrutinized.”
Read the full story at NBCOlympics.com