Feb 19, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Lolo Jones’ Olympic bobsled career didn’t start as well as she probably would’ve liked. The two-time Olympic track-and-field hurdler and USA-3 driver Jazmine Fenlator (pictured) find themselves in mid-pack – 11th out of 19th sleds – going into the last two runs today at Sanki Sliding Center.
But Jones’ top priority as brakeman is getting the USA-3 sled off to a strong start. And she’s doing that job well so far.
USA-3 had a 5.28-second start in Run No. 1 and a 5.26-second start in Run 2. Those start times are better than those from multiple teams that are currently ahead of USA-3 on aggregate time.
Fenlator herself said she made some mistakes at the controls, noting that she’d been “antsy to get on the ice.”
“Everyone reacts different, and I tend to get ahead of myself in the sled and in my first run I made a quite a bit of mistakes crucially,” she said according to USA Today. “Not that the driving lines were wrong but the timing. That’s what I worked on the second run to be a little bit better.”
But that didn’t stop Jones from being criticized once again after USA-3 turned in sub-par early results.
Men’s bobsledder Chuck Berkeley, who competed for the U.S. at Vancouver four years ago but did not qualify for Sochi, is now the latest competitor to question why Jones was included on the team this year.
“I get that people want to latch on to a media sensation and run wild,” he said to the Associated Press in reference to Jones. “But it comes down to this: There are athletes who deserve to be there who are not there, on the women’s and the men’s sides. And you have to ask yourself why is that the case.
“What is wrong with the selection process? Why is it flawed? Why is it corrupt?”
Jones’ teammates, Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams, currently lead the competition in USA-1.
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