Lolo Jones Selected for the 2014 Olympic Bobsled Team

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 19, 2014

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Lolo Jones' star power has garnered her widespread recognition as a track and field athlete, but she is gearing up for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as a member of the U.S. bobsled team.

The news of the 31-year-old Jones representing the USA in the Winter Games—along with fellow past track Olympian Lauryn Williams—was first reported by the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds on Sunday:

Jones and Williams will become the ninth and 10th Americans to ever compete in both the Summer and Winter Games. It was Jones who recruited Williams into bobsledding last year, per a report by the AP (via ESPN).    

U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation CEO Darrin Steele discussed the depth of talent the country is taking to Russia for 2014, per the AP report.

"This is the deepest field of push athletes we've ever had," Steele said. "We knew heading into the season that the Olympic selection was going to be extremely difficult. It's a good problem to have, but it meant that some outstanding athletes would not make the Olympic team."

Reynolds and Bryce Miller of the Des Moines Register had Jones' reaction after the team was announced:

The USA has qualified two four-man sleds and three two-man sleds, in addition to the three two-woman sleds, per NBC OlympicTalk's Nick Zaccardi.

At the 2013 FIBT World Championships, Jones was a part of the mixed American team that captured the gold medal in the competition, but her spot on the Sochi squad wasn't guaranteed after she sat out a recent World Cup competition.

For Jones, the Summer Olympics haven't been as kind. A disappointing seventh-place finish in 2008's 100-meter hurdles preceded a fourth-place effort in 2012 for the same event, where she was expected to challenge for the gold.

This is a shot at redemption for the versatile athlete, who is in the midst of her second season of bobsledding. According to Zaccardi, Jones was turned on to the idea shortly after the London Games by U.S. team driver Elana Meyers and finished the 2012-13 season as the USA's No. 4-ranked push athlete.

Given how determined Jones seems to be and how fast she has ascended in bobsledding, it isn't out of the question for her to reach the elusive podium as an Olympian this time around.