Making an entrance
February 19, 2014
Lauryn Williams burst onto the global athletics scene in some style when she won sprint gold at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.
At the time of her climb to the top step of the podium for the 100 metres in Finland, she was just 21 years old. Williams then backed up her title with further gold in the sprint relay.
Further success followed in the next World Championships in Osaka, Japan two years later where she just missed out on defending her 100m crown to take silver, but there was another gold in the sprint relay.
A barren spell without medals followed until a further relay gold at the Olympic Summer Games London 2012.
Switching gears… and enviroment
Williams then switched her attention to the bobsleigh. She is not the first sprinter to make that particular switch, in the United States or globally. But she has been one of the most successful.
Her standout moment came on her Winter Games debut at Sochi 2014 – in the two-person bobsleigh with Elena Mayers.
The pair were in blistering form in their opening heat, smashing the course record. They looked on course to hold on to the gold over the course of the four runs but were pushed into second place by Canada – by the agonising margin of just 0.10 seconds.
Part of a very small circle
In the process, Williams became only the fifth athlete ever to win medals at both the Summer and Winter Games, and the first American woman to have done so.
That was to be her sole foray onto the Winter Olympic stage, Williams later announcing her retirement from the bobsleigh world.
She now offers financial advice to professional athletes.