The U.S. women’s bobsled team will undoubtedly receive a boost in notoriety, as Lolo Jones has reportedly been named to the World Cup team ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, the 31-year-old, who participated in the London Olympics as a hurdler, received the call-up on Saturday morning.
Just announced: Lolo Jones named to U.S. women's bobsled team for World Cup races.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) October 26, 2013
Jones will be one of six pushers to get the nod for the United States when the country participates in the event on Nov. 30 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Lolo Jones is one of six push athletes named to U.S. team for World Cup races. However, Sochi Olympic spot is not guaranteed.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) October 26, 2013
She will be joining Emily Azevedo, Katie Eberling, Aja Evans, Kristi Koplin and Lauryn Williams as pushers, with Elana Meyers, Jamie Greubel and Jazmine Fenlator serving as drivers.
Also on U.S. women's bobsled team for World Cup. Drivers: Elana Meyers, Jamie Greubel and Jazmine Fenlator.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) October 26, 2013
Other push athletes, along with Lolo Jones, on U.S. bobsled team: Emily Azevedo, Katie Eberling, Aja Evans, Kristi Koplin, Lauryn Williams.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) October 26, 2013
Jones’ spot in the Olympics isn’t guaranteed, but she has a chance to prove her value to the national team during the upcoming World Cup races.
Jones is best known for her hurdling exploits, but she has recently attempted to make a splash as a bobsled pusher. She began competing seriously last year and has made strides in her second season on the World Cup circuit.
As per Zillgitt, the United States can currently send one team to Russia for the Winter Olympics, but they could field up to three depending on World Cup performances.
According to David Ramsey of The Gazette, the Olympic track and field competitor has been bulking up and looking to reach 160 pounds—up from 130—to aid in pushing the sleigh.
Will Jones make the Sochi Winter Olympics bobsled team?
Jones realizes that her presence adds publicity to the relatively anonymous U.S. women’s bobsled team, telling Ramsey, "I do realize the risk of putting myself out there. It's going to be crazy if I make the team or don't make the team. Either way is going to create a fire storm. But I'm the way I've always been. I want to go to the Olympics and I want to win a medal and that has never changed."
Jones is still seeking her first Olympic medal, having missed out at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
In an interview with HBO's Real Sports, Jones revealed her true intentions of trying to make the bobsled team (per USA Today):
"If I won a freakin' medal -- if I won any medal -- I would not be a bobsledder," she said. "Absolutely not. Are you kidding me? No. No!"
"I'm so desperate. Desperate," Jones said. "It absolutely doesn't matter (whether she wins in the Winter or Summer Games.) And you know the hard question will be is if I get a medal for bobsled, and I get a medal finally for track, which would I love more?"
The trip hasn't always been the smoothest, as Jones has received more attention off the track than on. Jones came under fire after complaining on social media about her low pay from the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Association:
While reaching the podium in bobsled may be a long shot, she is certainly determined to get a medal—no matter what.