US bobsledder defends Lolo's inclusion on Team USA
JAN 24, 2014 2:21p ET
It wouldn't be an Olympics without a little bit of controversy involving Lolo Jones.
But while Jones' inclusion on the U.S. bobsled team has led more than a few outside observers (not to mention a pair of athletes who didn't make the squad, Katie Eberling and Emily Azevedo) to conclude that the decision to put Jones on the squad had more to do with the publicity she's capable of generating for the sport and less with her ability to help deliver a medal-winning performance, at least one member of Team USA isn't buying it.
Elana Meyers, the United States' top driver and a leading contender to medal in Sochi, took to her Facebook page Friday to defend the composition of the women's bobsled team.
I have tried to remain quiet as long as possible, but some things must be clarified. We have a phenomenal group of women competing for the US Olympic team this year- from the top brakeman all the way down to brakeman who didn't even make the national team! It has truly been an honor and a privilege to slide with every single brakeman I've slid with these year, albeit in a race or in a training session; they all have worked extremely hard. However, difficult choices had to be made to narrow it down to 3 athletes for the Olympic team. The three athletes that were chosen for the Olympic team were chosen because of the numbers they have put up this season. In a sport where medals are won and lost by hundredths of a second, it is very important to analyze all the numbers and make the best decision to try to win Olympic medals for our country. Everyone may not agree with the decision, but the fact of the matter is, the numbers supported the selection committee's decision and 3 athletes were chosen. The three that were chosen have worked hard to earn there spots, and I am proud to call them my Olympic teammates.
We should be celebrating our Olympians, not tearing them down. I'm amazed that out of all the people asked about the situation, not a single driver was asked about what happened over the course of the season. I am devastated for those who didn't make the team but I will celebrate for those who did. Now is a time for preparing for what lies ahead, and that's what me and my teammates are prepared to do.
Now, to be fair, Meyers will likely be paired with Aja Evans, widely considered to be Team USA's strongest pusher. So she doesn't have to be too concerned about whether USA Bobsled got its woman in Jones.
But as a bronze-medal winner in Vancouver and a gold-medal threat in Sochi, Meyers' endorsement carries a lot of weight.
Probably not enough weight to end the controversy, but a lot nonetheless.