Elana Meyers and the United States women’s bobsled team are off to a shaky start at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Meyers, who was riding with alternate brakeman Katie Eberling (in place of Lauryn Williams), is expected to medal when competition starts next week. On Friday, however, the ladies in the USA-1 sled ended up crashing during their first run down the Sanki Sliding Center track, according to The Associated Press.
“That is not a fun ride,” Meyers said. “BMW sleds are awesome when they are on all four (runners). They are not fun when they are on their heads. I was the first one to crash one, and now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it withheld the test. I’m glad we could figure that out. It’s amazingly OK, and we were still fast in the second run, and it’s good to go.”
Meyers and Eberling were evaluated and sent back up to take their second run, which they finished in 58.11 seconds — a time that trailed just the Canada-1 and Russia-1 sleds.
Meyers explained she was late going into the 16th curve of the world’s longest track.
“It shot straight down and tossed me over,” she said. “Not fun. … The cool thing about bobsled is that there’s that danger and that risk in every single corner. I get to say, ‘I crashed, I took it to the face, but I’m going to face my fear, go back up there and do it again. I’m going to go through curve 16, and I’m going to nail it.'”
The U.S. likes to use alternates during training runs to keep athletes fresh. When competition starts next week, Meyers will be teamed with Williams, who helped the U.S. win the 4×100-meter relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Like fellow track star Lolo Jones — the brakeman on USA-3 with Jazmine Fenlator — Williams is new to bobsled this year.
Jamie Greubel is piloting USA-2 with brakeman Aja Evans.
Photo via Twitter/TeamFenom