U.S. Olympic track hurdler Lolo Jones made the Unites States team. The catch is she made the bobsled team, not the track team.
“This is definitely the first time I’ve made a team and I haven’t had to cross the finish line and look at the scoreboard,” Jones told the Associated Press.
Jones was not the only track star to try out for the bobsled team, instead of the track team. Olympic sprinter Tianna Madison also made the team, qualifying as a push athlete. She helped set the world record for the 4×100-meter relay at the London games this summer.
U.S. women’s bobsled coach Todd Hays said he encourages track athletes to try bobsledding because, according to Hays, their strength and speed work well for the icy sport.
“The obvious is their athleticism, and that’s why we invited them here,” Hays said to the Associated Press.
“The other incredible quality about them, which was not known to me until they got here, was how competitive and dedicated they are in their pursuit of athletic excellence,” Hays added.
All 24 athletes who made the team now have the opportunity to compete at the World Cup this winter season.
If Jones makes the final cut for the U.S. team, she could represent her country for the third time at the Olympics, but this time it will be at the Winter Games in Sochi.
“This is a breath of fresh air — cool, very cool, cold air,” Jones told AP.
Jones still hasn’t lost hope on hurdling, however, and plans on competing at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. But now her Olympic dreams of medaling don’t come just every four years, with Sochi in sight.
“I just came out here and kind of needed to get away from track for a bit, kind of wanted to get some motivation,” Jones said.
“I thought coming out here with the other girls that we could help each other, we could benefit from one another. I could help them with their speed and they could help me with my strength. And just being around them, hearing their goals gave me new goals and refreshed me,” Jones said.