Pin it Jamie Greubel
“As a bobsled driver, I have a ton of responsibilities...I’m in complete control of the sled, so the safety of my teammate who is sitting behind me is in my hands.”

Career highlights

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2008

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Jamie Wins Gold at America's Cup

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2009

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Jamie Debuts as Driver

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2012

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Jamie Bounces Back After Torn ACL
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Jamie Greubel

Career highlights

Title

2008

Subtitle

Jamie Wins Gold at America's Cup
Greubel bursts onto the bobsled scene as a brakeman when she won gold at Lake Placid’s American Cup with driver Phoebe Burns. “This was my first win ever as a bobsledder,” Greubel says. “Getting to win with one of my best friends and getting a taste of success in the sport definitely help motivate me to keep training and competing.”

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2009

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Jamie Debuts as Driver
“I had no brakemen, so I invited my cousin Amy who was a senior in high school at the time to come up to Lake Placid and race with me,” Greubel says. “It was such a fun experience to race with her, and a really cool feeling to hear the track cleared for “Greubel and Greubel” at the start.”

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2012

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Jamie Bounces Back After Torn ACL
Jamie landed a spot on the World Cup Team with a post-injury victory at the USA Bobsled National Team Trials. “I learned a lot about resilience and dedication in 2011, and it definitely served me well in 2012,” she says.

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2012

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First World Cup Silver Medal
Greubel and partner Emily Avezedo earn their first silver world cup medal in La Plagne, France. “It was the first time I ever drove the La Plagne track, so it was amazing to earn a silver medal after only six runs of experience on the track,” Greubel says. “My fiancé had a hunch that I was going to win a medal that day, and he was waiting at the finish to congratulate me when I finished my second run.”

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2013

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USA Sweeps Podium at Park City World Cup
Greubel and her teammates make history by earning the top three spots at the World Cup in December 2013. Elena Myers and partner Aja Evans earned first place, followed by Greubel and partner Lolo Jones, who tied with Jazmine Fenlator and Lauryn Williams for silver. “This was the best finish in women’s bobsled history,” Greubel says.

Until seven years ago, Jamie Greubel had never set foot inside a bobsled. Like teammates Lolo Jones and Emily Azevedo, she was a track star in her younger years, running on the track & field team at Cornell University. In 2007 she joined the women’s U.S. bobsled team thanks to the encouragement of her roommate at the time.

“I wasn’t satisfied with retiring from sports after Cornell,” Greubel tells SHAPE. “I was always good at sports, but I never realized I could be an Olympian until a friend of mine suggested that I try bobsled.”

While the transition from running to bobsled is relatively common, it requires a totally different approach to training. “I had to gain 20 pounds to even make the team,” Greubel says. “We have a minimum weight the sled must weigh and a maximum weight for the sled and the two athletes during the race. You want to be as close to the maximum as possible because heavier things go faster downhill.”

Jamie started as a brakeman, serving as an alternate for the U.S. Olympic Team that competed in Vancouver in 2010, and soon after that she transitioned to the role of driver.

Though her star has risen steadily in the sport, Greubel stresses that bobsledding takes a ton of work. And indeed, bobsledders have to train in a multitude of ways before they even get on the track. “It’s like training for three sports plus being a mechanic,” Greubel says.

Surprisingly enough, Greubel and her teammates only spend about six minutes a week actually practicing bobsledding. Before they even think about getting out onto the track, they spend hours sprinting, lifting weights, and prepping their bobsleds for races. Combine that with the hours spent on video analysis and sled work, and you’re looking at the equivalent of a 40-hour work week.

Will all those long hours result in a medal in Sochi? If this season is any indication, she has a solid chance, as she has had multiple podium finishes in races in Park City and Lake Placid. But we won’t officially know her Olympic fate until January 19 when the U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team is announced.

“I’m doing what I’m doing today because I love it, not because it’s easy and not because I’m making any money doing it,” she said in an interview with TeamUSA.org. “The Olympics is the ultimate thing that you can compete in in sports. So for me, I wasn’t ready to stop until I reached the top.”  —Alanna Nuñez

Trivia

Childhood sport
She was once an equestrian. “I used to ride horses growing up and competed in show jumping.”
Go-to exercises
The squat and the power clean. “Not only is it really important to be strong, but it’s crucial to be explosive, and to move heavy weight really quickly.”
Beauty secret
“Moisturize! I use Vaseline Total Moisture Cocoa Radiant lotion, Aveeno Calming Daily Moisturizer and Nivea Lip Butter,” she says.
Family life
"I'm the oldest of five siblings. We're spread out in age from 30 (me) to 13."