Summer Olympians chasing bobsled gold in Sochi

Fourth-Place Medal
Team USA bobsled competitor Lolo Jones during a portrait session during the Team USA Media Summit at Canyons Grand Summit Hotel. (Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports)


Team USA bobsled competitor Lolo Jones during a portrait session during the Team USA Media Summit at Canyons Grand Summit Hotel. (Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports)

While a select few are lucky enough to compete in at least one Olympics, athletes of an even more exclusive club can boast about marching under their country’s banner at the games in two different seasons.

Sochi will set the stage for a crop of former track and field athletes looking to prolong their competitive careers in the Winter Olympics, namely, on the bobsleigh track. Here are five converted Winter Olympians who will try to conquer the Sanki Olympic Sliding Center in Russia.

Lolo Jones (United States)
Summer Olympics competed in: Beijing 2008 and London 2012

The polarizing Jones is probably better known for generating headlines off the track than her Olympic accolades. Not too long ago, she posted a Vine video of her $741 bobsledding paycheck that drew the ire of a few peers.

[ Related: Lolo Jones shows off her backside -- uh, bobsled uniform ]

The former LSU Tiger came close to the podium during both trips to the Summer Games. Jones was 19 meters away from winning the women’s 100 hurdles title in Beijing, before a stumble on the ninth hurdle broke her stride and dropped her to seventh. She improved on that result but barely missed out on a medal with a fourth-place showing in London.

[ Related: Bobsledders: Lolo Jones didn't deserve her spot on Olympic team ]

The 31-year-old will be one of three American push athletes participating in Sochi’s women's bobsled competition.

Lauryn Williams (United States)
Summer Olympics competed in: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012

Williams first stepped into a bobsled last July, but it did not take the three-time Summer Olympian long to rise up the ranks of U.S. women’s bobsledders. She collected gold at a World Cup event in Igles, Austria earlier in January.

Before retiring from track and field competition, Williams snagged a gold medal with the U.S. women’s 4x100-meter relay team in London to add to her silver from the 100-meter dash in Athens.

[ Related: Jones, Williams picked for US Olympic bobsled team ]

Competing as one of the American push athletes, a podium finish in Sochi could make the 30-year-old just the fifth Olympian to win a medal in the Summer and Winter Games.

Jana Pittman (Australia)
Summer Olympics competed in: Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004

Australia’s largest Winter Games contingent ever (56 athletes) will feature the first Aussie to participate in both seasons.

[ Related: US to bring record 230 athletes to Sochi Olympics ]

Pittman, a two-time world champion in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, competed in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Games, placing fifth in the 400-meter hurdles in Athens. Lingering injuries derailed the 31-year-old’s hopes of qualifying for the 2008 and 2012 Games, but she will get another shot to compete on an Olympic stage in the two-woman bobsled competition.

Hanna Mariën (Belgium)
Summer Olympics competed in: Beijing 2008

The former Belgian sprinter represented her country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, earning a silver medal in the women’s 4x100-meter relay. Mariën is expected to partner with countrywoman Elfje Willemsen for the two-woman bobsled.

Craig Pickering (Great Britain)
Summer Olympics competed in: Beijing 2008

Pickering ran the anchor leg for the Great Britain men’s 4x100 relay team in Beijing that was disqualified for a botched baton exchange. The 27-year-old is scheduled to compete in the men’s two- and four-man events in Sochi.

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