Lolo Jones has become a fixture of the the U.S. Olympic scene over the past couple of Olympic Games, although Sochi hasn't been terribly kind to her. Jones was expected the be the underdog coming in largely because she is new to the sport of bobsledding and it is her first Winter Olympics.
Jones and her partner, Jazmine Fenlator, currently sit in 11th place. The American pair may be at a disadvantage heading into Wednesday's final heats but will have a chance to redeem themselves.
For Jones, it's more about helping Fenlator stay calm and focused than fixing her own mistakes. "I want to help Jaz execute. I hope she shows the world what a beautiful driver she is," Jones said to USA Today's Chris Strauss. Fenlator added, "I tend to get ahead of myself in the sled and in my first run I made a quite a bit of mistakes crucially."
I think they definitely put themselves in a great position but anything can happen. As you saw (Monday) in the men's races, some people fell down and some people climbed greatly, almost making a medal. I'm going to make prayers for my teammates and keep them calm and also keep fighting myself.
Jones is the less experienced of the two, and she is still learning the ins and outs of being a brakeman. A solid job was done yesterday, but she will need to step up if the USA-3 sled is to finish in a respectable position.
One could argue that the weather may have hindered their run, although the two competitors didn't place much of the blame on the track's conditions. With the weather having improved Wednesday, Jones should be able to get a much better push, giving the pair much more velocity down the track.
Jones and Fenlator will need two spectacular runs in the final heats to finish close to the top, and that all starts with Jones and the sled's initial push off.
They didn't come into the Games expecting to win the gold, especially this early on in their careers as Olympic bobsledders. The focus now is on finishing respectably with the best runs that they could possibly put together.
For these Jones and Fenlator, it's pretty simple; stay calm, and do your job well. Granted, that's easier said than done, but they will likely be much better more prepared now that they have a couple official runs under their belt.