Many know about Shani Davis, who will be competing in his fourth Winter games, but did you know about the three women competing in the bobsled and skeleton representing the U.S. in Sochi? As the 2014 Winter Olympic games get underway this month in Sochi, Russia, there are Black athletes there from the U.S.A. They should show young Black children that there are other sports besides football and basketball at which they can excel and hopefully broaden their horizons and achieve greatness.
Shani Davis is the best-known winter Olympian. A specialist in long track speed skating, he skates 500m, 1000m, 1500m, and 5000m distances. The 6’2” Chicagoan is a graduate of Northern Michigan University and Marquette. He has competed in the 2002, 2006, and 2010 winter games. His Olympic Experience includes the gold medal in men’s 1000m, silver medal in men’s 1500m, 12th in men’s 5000m in 2010. In the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, he won the gold medal in men’s 1000m, silver medal in men’s 1500m, 7th in the men’s 5000m.
Lauryn Williams’ is a three-time Olympian in track and field as a member of the 2004, 2008, and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams. Her long list of accomplishments includes: 2004 Olympic silver medal in the 100m, 2012 Olympic gold medal in the 4x100m relay, four-time USA Outdoor bronze medalist, 2005 World Outdoor 100m champion, 2006 World Indoor silver medalist, 2002 World Junior gold medalist. The accomplished track and field star was invited to compete in national team selection races, and she was named to the national team in her rookie season.
Jazmine Fenlator became involved in the sport of bobsled in September of 2007. She ran track at Rider University where her coach encouraged her to try a bobsled camp after graduation. Her favorite sliding memory was competing in her first World Championships on home ice in Lake Placid, N.Y., where Fenlator’s mother and sister attended the race. Just months earlier, the Fenlator family nearly lost their home in hurricane Irene. Fenlator graduated from Rider University with a Bachelor’s degree in multimedia communications and advertising; completed her master’s degree at the California University of PA with a concentration on exercise and sciences; and is now pursuing her MBA at DeVry University with a concentration on marketing.
Aja Evans graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s of Science in Sports Management.
She competed in the shot put and sprint events while in college, and made a smooth transition onto the ice. Evans comes from a family of talented athletes. Her brother, Fred, is the Vikings’ defensive tackle, her uncle is Gary Matthews, who is the former hitting coach of the Chicago Cubs, and her cousin is major league baseball player Gary Matthews Jr. Her favorite foods are sushi and seafood, and “mom’s Thanksgiving dinner.”