US Bobsled World Cup team named
LAKE PLACID — USA Bobsled/Skeleton Monday, Nov. 20 announced the members of the bobsled team for the 2023/2024 IBSF World Cup competition season.
The athletes named are as follows: Lauren Brzozowski, Kaysha Love and Elana Meyers Taylor for female pilots; Azaria Hill, Jasmine Jones, Jestena Mattson, Sydney Milani and Emily Renna for female push athletes; Frankie Del Duca and Geoff Gadbois for male pilots; and Adrian Adams, Hakeem Abdul-Saboor, Jace Johnson, Darius Joseph, Manteo Mitchell, David Simon, Carsten Vissering and Josh Williamson for male push athletes.
“This is a great group of athletes who have been selected. Everyone has been training very hard and we are all eager to see that hard work pay off as we start the World Cup season in a few weeks” said Chris Fogt, USA bobsled coach.
USABS will kick off World Cup competition on Dec. 8 in La Plagne, France.
Brzozowski will be entering her first season on the World Cup team after seeing success on the North American Cup circuit. She has been involved in the sport for four years total. Coming from a strong track and field background, she has successfully transitioned her skills to the ice from her time as a NCAA Division 1 athlete at Elon University. She was the first woman to ever receive the overall monobob award in the IBSF North American Cup division.
Love was a brakewoman in the 2022 Olympic Games and has since transitioned to the driver’s seat. After beginning her transition into a bobsled pilot less than a year ago, she earned three first-place finishes at the NAC races this past weekend (Nov. 15-19). While she has been on the World Cup circuit before, this will be her first year there while in the pilot’s seat.
Meyers Taylor is a four-time Olympian with a total of five Olympic medals (three silver and two bronze). She has been in the sport of bobsled since 2007 and in her almost two-decade run in the sport, has been on the World Cup team every year besides the two seasons she took off to give birth to her sons. She cites making the U.S. team as a four-man pilot in 2014 as one of her greatest accomplishments.
Hill is entering into her rookie season, having only been involved in the sport of bobsled for five months. In that short period of time, she had a top-five finish at the 2023 National Push Championships and this past weekend placed first alongside Love at Day 2 of the NAC two-women races.
Jones is a push athlete who has raced on the World Cup circuit before. In Park City, Utah last November, she slid into a top-three finish and has also been part of the World Championships once before. She is entering into her fifth year in the sport and cites making the World Cup circuit last season after coming back from her pregnancy journey as one of her greatest accomplishments to date.
Mattson also comes from a track and field background and is entering her second year in the sport and on the World Cup circuit. During this past weekend’s NAC races in Lake Placid, she placed first in two-woman alongside Love. She accredits her fifth place finish at Junior World Championships last season also alongside Love as one of the highlights thus far in her sliding career.
Milani has been involved in the sport of bobsled for one year. Alongside many of her teammates, she comes from the world of track and field and has since learned how to apply her athletic talents from the track onto the ice track. This will be her first year on the World Cup stage.
Renna has four years of bobsled experience under her belt and two years of World Cup sliding. In 2022, she earned a bronze medal in two-woman. Earlier this year, she was named the 2023 National Champion in two-woman and also placed first in the 2023 National Bobsled Push Championships in the female push athlete category.
Del Duca is starting his ninth season as a pilot. He has had two years experience on the World Cup circuit as a push athlete, and this will be his second season on the circuit as a pilot. He slid for the U.S. in the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and was the 2021-2022 NAC Champion. He has had many top-six finishes on the World Cup stage thus far.
Gabois has been involved in the sport for over a decade. In his 13 years sliding, he has also made multiple top-six World Cup finishes and earned a bronze medal in 2019 at World Championships in a mixed-discipline competition.
Adams has been sliding in World Cup races since 2014 and various World Championships since 2015. In the 2022 World Push Championships, he placed first in both the two-man and four-man competitions. This past weekend, he placed first in the second four-man competition of the NAC races.
Abdul-Saboor is a two-time Olympian, having competed as a push athlete in both the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics. He has been competing in the World Cup circuit since 2016. His athletic background is in basketball, football and track. A strength coach seeing a video of him jumping to touch his head to a 10-foot ceiling is what sparked his transition into the sport of bobsledding. Last year, he participated in the 2022/2023 World Championships.
Johnson is entering his rookie year in the sport of bobsled. He comes from a basketball background and has quickly been able to transfer his athletic talents to the bobsledding world. Alongside Adams, he saw his first gold medal in the sport in four-man races at the most recent NAC competition.
Joseph is entering his second year in the sport after initially being recruited in July 2022. In his rookie season, he competed in two separate World Cup races, both in Park City and Lake Placid. So far, he has earned two NAC first-place medals and two NAC second-place metals.
Mitchell is a former Olympic runner and silver medalist. During the pandemic, he transitioned into the world of bobsledding and has not looked back since. In 2022, he won World Push Championships in the four-man competition and a month later, made his World Cup debut in Whistler.
Simon has been involved in bobsledding since 2016. Since beginning the sport, he has had over a dozen top-six finishes in NAC and Europe Cup competitions. This will be his first year sliding on the World Cup stage.
Vissering uniquely comes from a swimming background, having competed for the University of Southern California. Last year was his debut into World Cup sliding, and he also represented the U.S. in the 2022/2023 World Championships in the four-man event.
Williamson has been involved in bobsledding for over seven years and has been a push athlete on the World Cup circuit for five years. After taking part in the 2022 Winter Olympics, he took the 2022/2023 sliding season off due to injury. He has earned two World Cup medals and has competed in World Cup Championships three times.