Olympic Sprinter, Bobsledder, Professional
While Lauryn had a stellar college career at the University of Miami, it wasn’t until she became the 2004 NCAA Champion in the 100m with a time of 10.97 that she even thought about the Olympics. In 2004, Lauryn was not only the NCAA Champion, she also held the fastest legal-wind time by an American at 10.97, the second fastest time in the world that year. She was also named the 2004 Big East most outstanding track performer and honored as the 2004 Athlete of the Year by the Sports Council.
For Lauryn, 2004 was a major year. In addition to these accomplishments, Lauryn also competed in the Olympics. During her first season as a professional, Lauryn traveled to Athens for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games; at a time when track and field was desperately looking for a ‘darling’, she captured the Silver medal and hearts across the world.
Lauryn has proved herself on the world stage time after time, showing tremendous strength of character, which always put her in contention to win the major championships. Following her success in 2004-2005, she had a new challenge at the World Championships, in Helsinki. At Worlds, Lauryn showed what a tough competitor she truly is. Ignoring the cold and wet conditions, she took home a Gold medal, became World Champion and solidified her place at the top of her sport. In 2006, she secured Silver medals in both the World Indoor 60m and the U.S. Championships. However, hampered by injuries, her season was cut short and Lauryn had to overcome, perhaps, the biggest challenge yet: the road back!
While she has a reputation for being a fierce competitor, when meeting Lauryn off the track, this is certainly not how you would describe her. Her fresh-faced smile and personable nature are two of the things that have helped Lauryn become one of the most popular personalities in the sport today. Always taking time to talk to children and fans alike, Lauryn truly is a member of the new generation; a generation that seeks to reconnect the audience with the athletes.
After announcing her retirement from Track and Field in the summer of 2013, Lauryn still needed to satisfy her competitive spirit so she tried her hand at Bobsledding. In true Lauryn fashion, less than a week after touching a sled for the first time, she finished third at the U.S. National Push Championships in Calgary, Alberta. And so began her next Olympic journey!
In July 2013, a nagging injury left me unable to finish, what was likely to be, my final track season. I returned to the states feeling dejected. But, a fortuitous conversation with Lolo Jones, a hurdler known for joining the bobsled ranks in the midst of her track career, changed my mood. After our conversation, my interest was piqued and with stage 1 of the trials looming, I decided to hop on a plane to Calgary and give bobsledding a try. With just one training session under my belt and a bum leg, I managed to finish 3rd in the Push Championships and my bobsled adventure began.
Just to give you a little background, women compete in a two person sleigh. There is a driver and brake woman. I am vying for a position as a brake woman where my job is to push the sled with such power and speed that the momentum created will give a great driver that extra “push” needed to guide our sleigh down the track with precision at speeds of over 90 miles per hour.
|11/21-22||America’s Cup Race Park City, Utah||Jazmine Fenlator||8th/17|
|11/30||World Cup Race #1 Calgary, Canada||Driver||Result|
|12/06||World Cup Race #2 Park City, Utah||Driver||Result|
|12/07||World Cup Race #3 Park City, Utah||Driver||Result|
|12/14||World Cup Race #4 Lake Placid, New York||Driver||Result|
|01/05||World Cup Race #5 Winterberg, Germany||Driver||Result|
|01/10||World Cup Team Competition #1 St. Moritz, Switzerland||Driver||Result|
|01/11||World Cup Race #6 St. Moritz, Switzerland||Driver||Result|
|01/17||World Cup Team Competition #2 Igls, Austria||Driver||Result|
|01/19||2014 Olympic Team Selection Announcement||Driver||Result|
|01/19||World Cup Race #7 Igls, Austria||Driver||Result|
|01/24||World Cup Competition #3 Konigssee, Germany||Driver||Result|
|01/26||World Cup Race #8 Konigssee, Germany||Driver||Result|
As 3x time Olympian, Lauryn knows the hard work and dedication required to take bobsled to the next level and bring home a medal; she has a work ethic matched by few. From an early age, her parents stressed the importance of education and the message stuck. While succeeding on the track, Lauryn also succeeded and excelled in the classroom. She received her Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Miami in 2004, and even gave the commencement address at her own graduation. She also obtained a Florida Real Estate Sale Associate license in 2006. Additionally, during the 2008 Olympic year, while training full time to make the Olympic team, she also managed to simultaneously work on a Master of Business Administration degree, which she received from the University of Phoenix, AZ in 2009.
Recently, Lauryn was struck with a passion for empowering athletes with financial literacy and stability so she completed the course work for Certified Financial Planning and will soon take the exam for CFP certification. After Lauryn has brought home a 2014 Winter Olympic medal, she intends to work with Olympians and other athletes to improve their financial literacy and stability in an effort to continue making a difference in the sporting world.
Lauryn’s wonderful story of hard work, dedication and perseverance will motivate and inspire people of all ages. If you would like Lauryn to speak at or attend an event at your school, business or organization, click here for more information.
Lauryn is a Saucony sponsored athlete and represents the brand in all her track competitions and appearances
Giving comes in many different forms, if you would like assist me in my desire to cover some of the expenses related to my bobsledding endeavors, here are the ways that you can provide assistance:
To ensure that you receive the tax deduction, please do not write my name anywhere on the check. However, we ask that you include a separate cover letter with your donation to indicate that your donated funds are for Lauryn Williams.
Thank you, in advance, for any contribution you may be able to provide. And of course, once my journey with bobsledding ends (hopefully after an Olympic gold medal), I will donate all equipment to USBF to aid the next female in need of assistance. You are a part of my team and my goal is to always make you proud of what I achieve. Thank you so very much for your support.