KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Lauryn Williams’ Winter Olympic bobsled debut was sure to be an unforgettable experience for the former track star.
On Tuesday at 10:17 a.m. ET, Williams officially became the ninth American to compete in different sports in the Summer and Winter Olympics.
By 10:18 a.m. ET, Williams and Elana Meyers’ first run in USA-1 was over and the duo set a new track record, finishing in 57.26 seconds. Williams, who picked up bobsled in July, set a record with her 5.13-second start time.
Williams picked up where she left off in Heat 2, besting her previous start record with a 5.12-second start time. Meyers then piloted USA-1 down the track for a heat-best time of 57.63 seconds.
At the end of Day 1 of women’s bobsled competition, Williams and USA-1 sit atop the leaderboard with a time of 1:54.89. They hold a 0.23-second lead over Canada-1 and USA-2 sits in third place, 0.56 seconds behind the leading duo of Williams and Meyers.
Williams and USA-1 will be back on the track Wednesday in the final day of competition. Heat 3 is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. ET with the final heat set to begin at 12:15 p.m. ET. The fastest combined time at the end of Wednesday’s competition will win the gold medal.
Williams and Meyers are in good position to medal as the former University of Miami track and field superstar aims to become the fifth Olympian to medal in both a Summer and Winter Olympics. If history is a good indicator, Williams will have a good chance to earn that distinction as the U.S. women have won a medal in every Olympic Winter Games since the sport was introduced in 2002.
If Williams wins in Sochi, she’ll be the first woman to take gold in both the Winter and Summer Olympics. Eddie Eagan is the only American athlete to win gold in both Summer and Winter Olympics, reaching the top of the podium for boxing in 1920 and as a member of the U.S. four-man bobsled team in 1932.
The first former Miami student-athlete to qualify for a Winter Olympics, Williams is the second Hurricane to participate in four Olympics, joining diver Jose “Chemi” Gil. Beyond her gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, Williams earned a silver medal in the 100m at the 2004 Olympics. Williams is also a three-time gold medalist at the World Championships and won the NCAA Championship in the 100m in 2004.
SOURCE: Miami Athletics