Jamie Greubel Returns Home With Bronze Medal!
The Hun School graduate finishes third at Sochi Olympics in Bobsled
All of Jamie Greubel’s hard work, dedication and development paid off in her first trip to the Olympics.
The Hun School graduate paired with Aja Evans to win the bronze medal in the women’s two-man bobsled competition in the recently completed Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
”It’s incredible,” Greubel said. “I still can’t believe it. I’m definitely enjoying it. It was great to have my family there. It was really special to cross the finish line and be able to share that moment with them.”
Before and after her medal moment, Greubel felt the support of her former Hun and Cornell University connections and friends that she has met along the way in her climb up the bobsledding world.
”I’ve gotten so many messages,” Greubel said. “I haven’t even begun to dig in and go through them. It was amazing to feel all the love and support from everyone. A lot of it came when I was getting ready to race, and I couldn’t return them because I was focusing on getting ready.”
Greubel, who was the No. 2 ranked driver in the world coming into the Olympics, performed better than all but two other pairs in the world in Sochi. She and Evans got off to a fast start with a promising 57.45-second run in their first run at Sochi.
”I had a great first run,” Greubel said. “I had some problems down the track. I didn’t get to see everyone else, but I heard everyone else had problems too.”
Greubel’s second run finished in 58.0 seconds, which put them in third place after the first day of the two-day competition. They were .56 seconds out of the gold medal, and .32 seconds behind the second-place team from Canada.
”Aja and I were definitely hungry for more,” Greubel said. “We wanted to go out and give everything. We came in hungry the second day and ready to go for it. Also at the same mind, I knew I needed to stay calm and consistent.
People only make mistakes when they try to do something uncommon or out of the ordinary. I didn’t want to make a mistake that would cost me the position we already earned. It’s a balance of being consistent what got you where you are and with trying to improve at the same time.”
The Sochi track forced drivers to be more wary of making mistakes.
”It’s a very technical track for driving,” Greubel said. “There are three uphill sections. If you mess up at the wrong spot, it costs you a lot of time.”
The Canadian duo of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse jumped to first place with two strong runs on the second day of competition as Humphries repeated as Olympic champion. The American team of Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams fell to second after leading the first day. Greubel, in her Olympic debut, had another 58.0-second run and then finished with a 58.16 clocking to secure the bronze medal.
”I put forth my best effort,” Greubel said. “I would have loved to have four perfect runs. Four perfect runs would have been a gold medal. The track was tough. My goal was to be consistent. That’s what helped me get where I am today.”
The Olympics was the culmination of Greubel’s season. She had driven well throughout the World Cup, and it all led up to her Olympics experience.
”There was definitely pressure,” Greubel said. “I felt pretty confident going into the race. I had been sliding well during training. I knew I was in the mix. I learned a ton from this season in World Cup.
”We had eight races before the Olympics. I had learning opportunities, and it didn’t always go my way during the season. I had some amazing results but it didn’t always go my way.”
Greubel may not have been able to medal at the Olympics if it wasn’t for some painful experiences in World Cup events. She learned from each setback and it paid off by the Sochi Games.
”In Winterberg (Germany), I was in first place, and I got too excited, I wanted so bad to get my first gold medal,” Greubel recalled. “I let myself get too excited. I got fourth place, one place out of medals. I learned that week I have to stay calm. The next week at St. Moritz (Switzerland), I was second and dropped back to fourth. I finally put it together to get my first gold in (Igls) Austria.
”I walked in knowing how to handle the pressure and myself. It was actually the most relaxed I was going into any race I’ve been in. I didn’t let myself get too fired up before the start. I knew my teammate and I were going to push fast.”
She didn’t have years of experience with Evans, but the American brakemen are fairly interchangeable because they all use a standardized starting technique taught by the U.S. coaches. Together, they performed well on a stage that carries more prestige to outside viewers than any World Cup event ever could.
”I definitely think that it’s all about the hype of the Olympics,” Greubel said. “There’s more press. It’s bigger. Having the same people that I race against every week as the same people I race against in the Olympics was good. I knew all my competition in and out. There were no surprises. It’s literally the same group of women every week. Even though it’s my first Olympics, I was confident because it was the same group of people and I knew what I was up against. That helped me handle the pressure of the Olympics.”
Now with her first Olympics behind her, Greubel returned to the U.S., where she is taking some time off.
”I definitely need time off,” said Greubel, who grew up in Newtown, Pa. “We push our bodies so hard throughout the year. I usually take a month off of training before you start up again. I need to let everything heal and relax. We’re constantly trying to move really heavy weight. Your body needs a break.
”So I’m taking time off, and I’ll share this medal with everyone around here and this accomplishment and then get back after it.”
Greubel, the former track star at Hun and Cornell, will have time to think about her future in bobsledding, the sport that has taken her all the way to her first Olympics and where she will be in four years when the next Olympics comes.
”It’s a very big decision to make,” Greubel said. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and financial sacrifice. I’m definitely going to slide next year and then make a decision.”