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Jamaican Olympic bobsledder’s provisional suspension lifted

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Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, who in PyeongChang drove the first Jamaican Olympic women’s bobsled, had a provisional suspension lifted last month by the International Bobsled Federation over a pre-Olympics drug test.

Jamaica’s bobsled federation confirmed a Jamaica Gleaner report that Fenlator-Victorian was provisionally banned shortly after PyeongChang and reinstated March 9. The IBSF and Fenlator-Victorian have not responded to requests for comment.

Fenlator-Victorian reportedly tested positive for a small amount of the banned substance clenbuterol before the 2018 Olympics.

Jamaica Bobsled said it was notified after the Games of the provisional suspension and that Fenlator-Victorian was not trying to gain an advantage, given the small amount and that a later pre-Olympic test came back clean. Many athletes have been cleared after testing positive for small amounts of clenbuterol, including Jamaican sprinters.

Fenlator-Victorian did not race in the 2018-19 season, according to her IBSF profile.

Fenlator-Victorian and former sprinter Carrie Russell finished 19th of 20 sleds in PyeongChang. Fenlator-Victorian, 33, also finished 11th at the Sochi Olympics competing for the U.S., then switched representation to her father’s native country.

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U.S. bobsledders to receive silver medals from Sochi Games

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Members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic two- and four-man bobsled teams will receive silver medals after initially finishing third at the Sochi Games, USA Bobsled and Skeleton (USABS) announced today.

The USOC received official notification from the International Olympic Committee that the two-man bobsled team of the late Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton and the four-man bobsled team of Holcomb, Langton, Chris Fogt and Curt Tomasevicz would be awarded silver medals, according to USABS. Russian pilot Aleksandr Zubkov and push athlete Aleksei Voyevoda, who originally won gold in the two- and four-man events in Sochi, were disqualified in 2017 for doping violations after a reanalysis of samples. Due to a series of appeals, medal reallocations were not announced until today.

“We have always believed in competing with integrity and respect for ourselves, our sport and for our competitors,” Fogt, Langton, and Tomasevicz said in a joint statement, according to USABS. “It’s unfortunate that our results were not official in February of 2014 and that we’ve had to endure the long process to see justice finally served…We commend the IOC, WADA, the IBSF and the USOC for their willingness to take a stand for what is right…We encourage them to stand firm and continue their fight against individuals looking to undermine the discipline and dedication of clean athletes.”

Holcomb, a three-time Olympic medalist, piloted the four-man “Night Train” sled to gold in 2010, ending a 62-year gold medal drought for the U.S. in men’s bobsled, before serving as pilot again in 2014. He died unexpectedly in May 2017 at age 37.

“This result appropriately bolsters Holcomb’s legacy as one of the very best athletes to ever drive a bobsled,” Fogt, Langton and Tomasevicz said in their statement. “…he would be smiling knowing that we’re one step closer to a fair playing field.”

The reallocated silver medals will be presented to the athletes and Holcomb’s family in an upcoming ceremony. Details have not yet been announced.

“We are so proud of Steven and all that he accomplished, both on and off the ice,” his mother, Jean Schaefer, said, according to USABS. “We are happy that he and his teammates are to be recognized as the silver medalists, their rightful place. While we wish Steven could accept his silver medals alongside his teammates, our family is honored to accept them on his behalf.”

Jamie Greubel Poser, Olympic medalist, retires from bobsled

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Jamie Greubel Poser, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, has retired from bobsled after two Winter Games and more than a decade in the sport.

“After taking some time to reflect, I’m incredibly proud and satisfied with everything I have accomplished in my career,” said Greubel Poser, who ended her career with a fifth-place finish in PyeongChang and is now teaching English at a school in Germany, where her Olympian husband is from. “Now, it feels like the right moment to begin the next chapter of my life.”

Greubel Poser, 34, converted to bobsled in 2007 after competing in the heptathlon and pentathlon at Cornell. She still holds school record scores and was inducted into its athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.

She began in bobsled as most do, as a brakewoman, and went to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as an alternate.

“When I watched the Olympics Opening Ceremony and the Olympic bobsled competition, it really dawned on me for the first time that I really had a possibility of going to the Olympics,” she said. “I had been competing in the sport for two years, and I was doing it because I loved the competition, but in this moment I was really inspired, and it lit a fire for me to do whatever I could to make the Olympic team in four years.”

After switching to driving and overcoming a summer 2011 torn ACL playing soccer, she jumped to the top in the 2013-14 Olympic season.

Greubel Poser notched her first World Cup win as a driver, placed third in the World Cup standings and took bronze at the Sochi Games with brakewoman Aja Evans, also a former college track and field athlete (shot put).

“I think if you told me this, that I would get a medal here, now, I don’t think I would have believed you,” Greubel said that day in Russia.

Greubel Poser and gold and silver medalists Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor would regularly share podiums through the next Olympic cycle. Greubel Poser won the 2016-17 World Cup title by a mere 14 points by taking the last race at the PyeongChang Olympic track.

Her second Olympics didn’t go as hoped. Greubel Poser and Evans paired again and finished fifth, 13 hundredths shy of a medal.

“It’s a test of skill and it’s very challenging to do the same thing four times, and I did the best I could do,” Greubel Poser said after the last two runs of her career in South Korea. “I made a few mistakes, but I gave absolutely everything I had today, and I couldn’t have driven better.”

PyeongChang carried other significance for Greubel Poser.

“It would really be the trip of a lifetime for my family,” she said before the Games.

Greubel Poser competed at the Olympics in the same sport as her husband, German push athlete Christian Poser. They married in summer 2014 after meeting at a 2012 World Cup race and competing as an engaged couple in Sochi.

Her younger sister by 17 years, Elizabeth, was adopted from South Korea when Greubel Poser was in high school. Elizabeth flew to South Korea for the Games — her first time in her birth country since she was an infant — and watched her sister race in person for the first time.

“When I was first introduced to bobsled, I was drawn to the opportunity to be part of a team again and because I loved to compete,” Greubel Poser said. “I had no idea where it would eventually take me. It took me to the top of the world, and I certainly never imagined it would lead me to meeting my husband.”

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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