Elana Meyers Taylor, Lolo Jones return to U.S. bobsled team

Elana Meyers Taylor, Lolo Jones
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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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Coco Gauff into French Open quarterfinals, where Iga Swiatek may await

Coco Gauff French Open

Coco Gauff swept into the French Open quarterfinals, where she could play Iga Swiatek in a rematch of last year’s final.

Gauff, the sixth seed, beat 100th-ranked Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5, 6-2 in the fourth round. She next plays Swiatek or 66th-ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, who meet later Monday.

Gauff earned a 37th consecutive win over a player ranked outside the top 50, dating to February 2022. She hasn’t faced a player in the world top 60 in four matches at Roland Garros, but the degree of difficulty is likely to ratchet up in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

Swiatek won all 12 sets she’s played against Gauff, who at 19 is the only teenager in the top 49 in the world.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Also Monday, No. 7 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia dispatched 36th-ranked American Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-1, breaking all eight of Pera’s service games.

Jabeur, runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, has now reached the quarterfinals of all four majors.

Jabeur next faces 14th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia, who won 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5 over Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, who played on a protected ranking of 68. Haddad Maia became the second Brazilian woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal in the Open Era (since 1968) after Maria Bueno, who won seven majors from 1959-1966.

Pera, a 28 year-old born in Croatia, was the oldest U.S. singles player to make the fourth round of a major for the first time since Jill Craybas at 2005 Wimbledon. Her defeat left Gauff as the lone American singles player remaining out of the 35 entered in the main draws.

The last American to win a major singles title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought matches the longest in history (since 1877) for American men and women combined.

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U.S. earns first three-peat in Para hockey world championship history

Para Ice Hockey
International Paralympic Committee

The U.S. trounced rival Canada 6-1 to become the first nation to three-peat in world Para hockey championship history.

Tournament MVP Declan Farmer scored twice, and Josh Misiewicz, David Eustace, Jack Wallace and Kevin McKee added goals. Jen Lee made eight saves in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on Sunday.

Farmer, who had nine goals in five games for the tournament, also scored twice in Paralympic final wins over Canada in 2018 and 2022 and the last world championship final against Canada in 2021. Farmer, 25, already owns the career national team record of more than 250 points.

The U.S. beat Canada in a third consecutive world final dating to 2019, but this was the most lopsided gold-medal game in championship history. The U.S. also won the last four Paralympic titles dating to 2010.

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