Rochester native Lauryn Williams spent most of her life preparing for her Olympic career as a world-class sprinter. She spent a scant seven months getting ready for her Olympic career as a bobsledder.
The same drive, skill, speed and power that propelled Ms. Williams to a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Summer Games and a gold medal eight years later in London fueled her trip to the top of the icy track in the mountains of Russia.
Although she and her teammate, Elana Meyers, won a silver medal instead of the gold they were seeking on Wednesday, Ms. Williams’ accomplishment was no less remarkable.
She was a novice as the brakeman who, just months ago, took her first trip down a sheet of ice in a tiny, two-man bobsled. The running and pushing involved in the sport came naturally to Ms. Williams, 30, but she described that first ride as “horrific,” akin to riding down a mountain in a washing machine. Nonetheless, she earned a seat in the top U.S. sled at Sochi, behind Ms. Meyers, the driver.
Their second-place finish robbed Ms. Williams of the distinction of being the first female U.S. athlete to win gold in both the winter and summer games, but being a silver medalist is a monumental achievement, putting Ms. Williams in the record books as the first U.S. woman and only the fifth athlete overall to win a medal at both games.
What a run!