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Lauryn Williams: 100-Meter Standout

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Lauryn Williams: 100-Meter Standout

Lauryn Williams

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Williams was the top American finisher in the women's 100 meters in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, winning a silver medal in Athens and placing fourth in Beijing. Her last chance for a medal in 2008 ended when she and Torri Edwards mishandled the baton during the 4 x 100-meter relay. She had better luck in London in 2012. Running in the preliminary round of the 4 x 100, she helped the U.S. win the heat. The Americans went on to win the final to earn Williams an Olympic gold medal.

Strong sprints:

The U.S. sprint team’s strength was apparent during the 2008 Olympic Trials as Williams, the world’s seventh-ranked 100-meter sprinter, had to fight her way on to the squad, finishing third in the 100 in 10.90 seconds, beating Marshevet Hooker by .03 seconds. In the 200, Hooker edged Williams for the third spot, by .01 seconds.

Good work:

Williams is a part of USA Track & Field’s “Be a Champion” community outreach program. She does volunteer work with hearing impaired students at a Florida elementary school and has set up a scholarship fund for female athletes. She was named the 2006 Visa Humanitarian Athlete of the Year.

Career highlights:

In addition to her Olympic silver medal, Williams is a three-time world champion. She won the 100 meters in 2005 and was a part of the victorious U.S. 4 x 100-meter relay teams in 2005 and ’07. In 2007 she was second in the 100 at the World Championships and the U.S. Outdoor Championships. She was also the 100-meter runner-up at both the 2006 U.S. Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Williams won the NCAA 100-meter championship for the University of Miami in 2004.

Bobsled Star:

Williams earned a spot on the U.S. Winter Olympics team in 2014, serving as brakeman on the USA 1 bobsled. Williams and driver Elana Meyers led for three of the four rounds before falling just short of the gold, but still earned a silver medal. Williams became the fifth athlete - and the first track and field competitor - to win medals in both the summer and winter Olympics.

 

The stats:

 

  • Height: 5-3
  • Weight: 127
  • Birth date: September 11, 1983
  • Hometown: Rochester, Pennsylvania
  • World Championships: Three

 

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