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With only two sleds qualified for the Pyeongchang Olympics, the always competitive spots for U.S. brakemen got tighter.
Olympic medalist Aja Evans and Lauren Gibbs were named to the team on Saturday. Gibbs, who made her first Olympic team, will push Elana Meyers Taylor’s sled, while Evans will again push Jamie Greubel Poser’s sled after the pair won bronze in Sochi in their Olympic debut.
Briauna Jones was named as a replacement athlete. The team announcement came after the U.S. concluded World Cup competition in St. Moritz on Saturday.
The selections and lack of a third sled meant that Lolo Jones, a controversial pick for the team in Sochi, will not compete.
“Six push athletes have been battling it out week after week and winning medals on the World Cup circuit this year, but we only have two spots for the Games,” said USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation CEO Darrin Steele. “We don’t take this decision light-heartedly. The selection committee chose the athletes they think have the best chance of bringing home hardware from Korea for Team USA.”
Since the 2016-17 season, Evans has seven world cup medals and pushed Greubel Poser to bronze at last year’s world championship.
Gibbs, meanwhile, has 11 World Cup medals in her four seasons in the sport and pushed Meyers Taylor’s sled to bronze at the 2016 world championships.
Meyers Taylor is seeking her third Olympic medal after winning silver with Lauryn Williams in Sochi. As a brakeman for Erin Pac, Meyers Taylor won bronze in Vancouver.
Both U.S. sleds are favored to medal but will have to…