SOCHI, Russia — The U.S. women’s bobsled team is made up of Dragon, E Money, Honey Badger, JWoww, Storm and Wildebeest.
They are the “wolfpack,” a term dropped by push athlete Aja Evans (Storm) in a Jan. 19 teleconference announcing the U.S. Olympic Team.
Jamie Greubel is Dragon, Elana Meyers is E Money, Jazmine Fenlator is JWoww, Lolo Jones is Honey Badger and Lauryn Williams is Wildebeest.
“We’ve developed a tight bond and a wolfpack type of mentality,” Evans said Monday. “We all go out there. We all fight. We all grind it out and work hard for what we want, but at the same time we have every single person’s back. We don’t leave no man behind.”
The athletes’ nicknames are fairly understandable. Jones shares hers with a fellow former LSU athlete, football player Tyrann Mathieu. Fenlator, Meyers and Williams’ are all plays off their names. And then there’s Greubel, whose helmet front has been known to display a pattern while sliding.
“It looks like a dragon snout,” Meyers said. “And she’s fierce and fiery.”
The wolfpack took on more meaning as the Olympics neared. The U.S. could qualify a maximum of six women to the Olympics, but nine were on the national team. Katie Eberling, Emily Azevedo and Kristi Koplin were not chosen for Sochi.
“It was rough when we came to Olympic selection time because we had to split up in a way,” Evans said. “At the same time, we still have all the same support.”
The “wolfpack” is actually months old and was coined by U.S. coach Todd Hays, a 2002 Olympic silver medalist.
“It kind of sometimes ends up the whole group of us ganging up against him,” Meyers said. “Whether it’s we want to leave later for training, or we want to eat dinner at this time. We’re a very organized group of young women and very educated. We have a particular way we like doing things. Sometimes we might attack him a little bit.”
Hays laughed at Meyers’ claims.
“They’re very dangerous, so we kind of affectionately refer to them as a wolfpack,” Hays said. “Obviously, they’re beautiful from a distance. But you never want them to turn on you.”