Lauryn Williams became the first American woman to win a medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics when she took silver in the women’s bobsledding competition Wednesday in Sochi.
Williams claimed her first Olympic medal in the summer games in 2004, winning silver in the 100-meter dash in Athens. The sprinter added a gold medal to her repertoire in the 4×100-meter relay in London two years ago.
Although Williams did not attract as much media attention as fellow track-star-turned-bobsledder teammate Lolo Jones, she emerged as Team USA’s unexpected bobsledding star, making history with her impressive podium finish.
Just one year ago, Williams had never even tried bobsledding, according to NPR. The rookie pusher was paired with veteran driver Elana Meyers, who won bronze in the two-woman event in Vancouver in 2010.
Williams and Meyers were visibly disappointed after their failed pursuit of the gold medal. They came within just one-tenth of a second of beating the defending champions, Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse of Canada.
“I made some mistakes, and those mistakes cost us,” Meyers said, via the Los Angeles Times.
Had Williams edged Canada, she would have become the second athlete ever to win a gold medal at both the Summer and Winter Olympics, but she insists that she is satisfied with the final results.
“I didn’t come here to make history. I came here to help Team USA,” Williams said. “As long as somebody wrote in the record books that she did well, that’s enough for me. I’m not defined by that medal.”
Photo via Twitter/@GlobalPittsburgh