Just three months ago, Lolo Jones was in London, trying to cope with the crippling disappointment of missing out on a hurdling medal yet again, despite becoming one of the most (over)hyped American athletes at the Games. She left the Summer Olympics with a grand total of zero medals in her running career, and at 30, isn’t likely to return.
Her quest for an Olympic medal may not be over, though. Jones was invited to try out as a push athlete for the United States Bobsled Team in early October by coach Todd Hays — sprinters have the perfect build to push a bobsled down the track and generate speed in a quick burst, making them perfect for the start of a run. Just a few weeks after being named to the United States team for the Bobsled World Cup in Lake Placid, New York, Jones’ sprinting ability helped capture a silver medal in the two-woman sled event, losing the gold to an experienced pair of Canadians.
If Jones can be part of a silver-medal winning team with about a month of experience in a completely new sport, there’s a very good chance she’ll be a huge story at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. There’s also a very good chance the other, more seasoned bobsledders will become intensely jealous, and the probability of a Tonya Harding situation may be higher than it’s been since… well, Tonya Harding.