The U.S. women’s bobsled team is made up of some of the sports most seasoned athletes. But even this tough group of ladies know they have a challenge ahead at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Aja Evans, Elana Meyers, Jamie Greubel and Kehri Jones spoke with PEOPLE about their journey to the Olympics prior to arriving in PyeongChang, with Meyers noting that the new track is a force to be reckoned with.
“The track in South Korea is a whole new animal than anything we’ve ever faced,” says Meyers, a pilot. “Even curve two is unlike any we’ve seen … It’s something we’re going to have to adjust to. I like the track. I think it’s got a good character, and I think the way me and Jamie have evolved as pilots is going to suit us very well.”
With PyeongChang marking an Olympic return for a lot of the ladies, the athletes say they’re ready take on the 2018 games together.
“We’re going to do a new team name. Wolf Pack was from Sochi, that was our team name,” Meyers tells PEOPLE. “So, definitely in PyeongChang, we’re going to have to come up with our new team.”
Along with lengthy careers and sterling reputations, the team also boasts a diverse group of women.
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“I’ve only been in the sport for two years, and my first season it wasn’t that many women of color on bobsled teams,” Jones says. “And this year, you see at least one almost on every time. And it’s really cool to see, I’m really excited about that.”
The women also vary in body type.
“It’s not just women of color, it’s also evolved into women of all shapes and sizes,” Meyers adds. “I’m 5’7,” Kehri’s 5’2,” Jamie and Aja are 5’10.” It’s women of all shapes and sizes can be successful in the sport. We look diverse from every aspect. And that’s one of the coolest things I feel has really come about bobsled.”
While PyeongChang will surely see lots of smiles, the upcoming games will likely be an emotional one for the nation’s bobsled teams due to the recent death of famed bobsled champion Steven Holcomb. He was found dead in his room at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York, in May. He was 37.
“Everybody, kind of, experiences death a certain way, and with it being so close to home with Holcomb — he’s the face of our sport,” Evans says. “Holcomb is the sport of bobsled for Team USA on any platform. And so, I think it’s definitely a shock for us. We’re all, kind of, still trying to process it, and carry his legacy on with us throughout this whole Olympic process.”
Meyers adds: “I think it’s going to be a difficult Olympics. But the greatest thing about bobsled and this sport is that we are a family.”