She was golden on the track. Lauryn Williams will pursue her next medal on the icy bobsled run at the Sochi Olympics.
The former University of Miami and three-time Summer Olympian on Sunday earned a place on Team USA for the Winter Games in a sport she took up only six months ago.
Williams, who capped her career with a gold medal as part of the winning U.S. 4X100 relay team at the 2012 London Games, and Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones were among six women named to compete in the tandem sleds next month at Sochi, Russia.
Only eight previous Americans have competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
"It's really exciting," Williams said. "I've enjoyed the challenge of the steep learning curve. It hasn't sunk in yet that there is more to go, and that the podium is where we're headed for in Sochi."
Williams was at the top of the podium earlier in the day after earning her first bobsled gold medal in a World Cup event at Igls, Austria. Pushing for Jamie Greubel, she made a strong closing argument for a spot on the team in the final pre-selection competition.
Greubel and Williams led a 1-2 American finish with two flawless runs. It was the first career World Cup win for Greubel, of Newtown, Pa., and Williams' third Cup medal. Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Aja Evans (Chicago) finished second.
Jones, who placed fourth in the 100 hurdles at the London Games, finished seventh Sunday pushing for Jazmine Fenlator. It was Jones who suggested during dinner at a track meet that Williams give the bobsled a try.
"In the back of my mind Lauryn is a gold and silver medalist and there have only been one or two people that have medaled at both Olympics. I felt like I just needed to share that with her, because she is talented enough," Jones said. "I'm just glad she came out and stuck it out and worked hard, and she's on the team now."
All six women who competed on the three sleds Sunday were chosen to the team. The pairings for Sochi haven't been determined.
Williams, silver medalist at 100 meters in 2004, has proven a quick study with the bobsled, earning medals in three of the four competitions she has entered. She said the biggest lesson has been in learning to function as part of a team.
Williams said each Olympics has been a different experience, but that her outlook is similar to what she felt in 2010 at London, "where I appreciate what the whole Olympic spirit is about and the process and the journey.
"My nerves aren't all wrapped up in it. If I wasn't named (to the team) I was going to cheer for everyone who did make it and would have been a willing alternate because I just want to be helpful and be positive energy for everyone around me."
Instead, she will devote full energy to getting down the hill and onto the medal podium.
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