Triple Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor and Lolo Jones, one of 10 U.S. athletes to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics, returned to the national bobsled team for the upcoming season after absences.
Meyers Taylor, who drove to silver medals at the last two Olympics, sat out the 2019-20 season due to pregnancy. She had son Nico in February, then earned her spot as the USA-2 pilot in selection races last week, behind Kaillie Humphries, who locked in USA-1 by winning last season’s world title.
Humphries, a two-time Olympic champion for Canada, switched representation to the U.S. last year.
Jones, who has not competed in bobsled internationally since missing the 2018 Olympic team, was one of seven push athletes chosen for the national team after selection races in Lake Placid, N.Y. Jones, a 2014 Olympian, and 2018 Olympic silver medalist Lauren Gibbs are the only members of the group with Olympic experience.
Jones, a 38-year-old who competed in the 100m hurdles at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, said she spent just three weeks preparing for bobsled trials.
She began 2020 expecting to make a final bid for a Summer Olympic team. After the Tokyo Games were postponed, she participated in an MTV reality show, “The Challenge,” where she dropped down to 133 pounds.
“We stayed in the house 85% of the time due to Covid restrictions while filming,” was posted on Jones’ Instagram. “Pretty hard to train for Olympics properly but at least I was competing in something After the show finished I went straight to the Olympic Training Center in New York for bobsled.”
Jones reverted to her bobsled diet to bulk up — burgers, pizza, protein shakes — and said she got up to 155 pounds — 10 pounds shy of her ultimate goal.
“I wondered if I would even have a chance to be able to crack into the circle with no proper prep,” was posted on her Instagram. “I communicated to the coaches and driver my concern about returning in such a unprepared state. But I said eff it. I’ve faced bigger odds than this so regardless of training or prep I’m going to try to make this team.”
The World Cup bobsled season began last week in Europe, but the U.S. is not sending a team across the Atlantic until at least January due to coronavirus pandemic-related travel concerns.
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