South Carolina will be represented in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Briauna Jones, who was a standout athlete at Summerville High School, was named as a member on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Bobsled Team, which will compete in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“We don’t take this decision light-heartedly,” USA Bobsledding CEO Darrin Steele said in a news release. “The selection committee chose the athletes they think have the best chance of bringing home hardware from Korea for Team USA.”
The 25-year-old has been selected as a replacement athlete on the seven-member women’s bobsled team, according to lakeplacidnews.com. That means she can substitute for competing athletes during training runs and is eligible to compete in the event of an injury or illness.
If a replacement is needed, the selection committee will re-evaluate the teams before making a nomination.
“Even though going as an alternate means that I won’t be racing, I still made my mark and proved myself as one of the best athletes in the sport,” Jones said, journalscene.com reported. “I still earned my ticket to the Olympic Games.”
Although she’s a soon-to-be Olympian, and was named USA Bobsledding Rookie of the Year following the 2016-2017 season, Jones was a standout in a sport commonly associated with the Summer Games when she was in high school and college – track & field.
A native of Summerville, Jones compiled an impressive résumé of awards and records at UNC Charlotte before graduating in 2014, according to inside.uncc.edu. She holds a place on the top 10 list for the following events: indoor 60-meter dash, indoor and outdoor long jump, indoor and outdoor triple jump and indoor and outdoor high jump. She was a multiple-time conference medalist in each of those events, but perhaps her greatest achievement came in 2012 when she helped the program’s 4x100 meter relay team earn a trip to the national championships.
In high school, Jones received All-American honors by placing sixth in the long jump at U.S. Nationals, also placing 10th in the triple jump.
Jones youth and inexperience in bobsledding worked against her in qualifying for the Olympic team.
“Those two things could have easily counted me out, but years of being an athlete and fighting to get to the top has taught me that you’re in control of your destiny,” Jones said, journalscene.com reported. “My coaches from Summerville High School and UNC Charlotte never gave up on me and are the reason I’m the fierce athlete that I am. I fought until the end and I’m proud to say that I made my first Olympic team through the adversity.”