Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Williams’ run


Lauryn Williams, right, and Elana Meyers celebrate receiving their silver medals in women's bobsled competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics this week.


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 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 this week, 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-person 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 too.

It puts Ms. Williams in the record books as the first U.S. woman, and only the fifth athlete overall, to win a medal at the summer and winter games. What a run.

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