One of the most intriguing battles for U.S. Olympic spots will come in bobsled, where six women’s push athletes are on the national team battling for three likely spots in Sochi.
The Olympics are more than two months away. The biggest competitions between now and then are World Cup events. Therefore, the push athletes chosen for World Cup events are an early (but certainly not definite) indicator of the Olympic Team pecking order.
Here are U.S. Bobsled’s women’s pairings for the first World Cup in Calgary:
Elana Meyers-Aja Evans
Jamie Greubel-Katie Eberling
Jazmine Fenlator-Lolo Jones
These are the same pairings as the final World Cup event last season at the Sochi Olympic track.
Meyers is a 2010 Olympic bronze medalist and the reigning world silver medalist. Greubel and Fenlator each won silver medals on the World Cup circuit last year.
Evans and Eberling were the top two U.S. push athletes last season. Jones, in her first year bobsledding in 2012-13, was not used in the two-woman competition at the World Championships in February. 2010 Olympian Emily Azevedo was instead, but Jones then replaced Azevedo for that final World Cup.
Azevedo, three-time Olympic sprinter Lauryn Williams and Kristi Koplin are the other three push athletes on the national team. They are not set to compete this week but could replace Evans, Eberling or Jones as early as next week’s World Cup stop in Park City, Utah.
The U.S. Olympic Team is expected to be named in mid-to-late January.