Chicago Native, Morgan Park HS Alum Closing In On Olympic Medal

Aja Evans is so close to medalling in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Credit: AjaEvans.com
Credit: AjaEvans.com
Aja Evans and her bobsled partner Jamie Greubel are two runs closer to an Olympic medal.

Evans and Greubel on USA 2 sled in the Sochi Winter Olympics hover in bronze medal position after two of four runs. The final two runs take place Wednesday, at 10:15 and 11:25 a.m., CST. Evans is the "push" athlete in the pairing—meaning she shoves off the starting line to get the sleigh to a competitive speed at the start of the race.

Evans first tried bobsleigh in October 2012 in Lake Placid, New York. She blasted onto the scene in her rookie season by scoring 794 out of a possible 800 points on the combine test, winning the 2012 U.S. National Push Championship title, and breaking the start record with driver Jamie Greubel in 2012-2013 team selection races.

An Olympic medal is within reach for not only Evans and Greubel, but also her bobsleigh teammates Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams—who call themselves "The Wolfpack" collectively.

"We've developed a tight bond and a wolfpack type of mentality," Evans told NBC. "We all go out there. We all fight. We all grind it out and work hard for what we want, but at the same time we have every single person's back. We don't leave any man behind."

Evans graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's of Science in Sports Management.  She competed in the shot put and sprint events while in college, and made a smooth transition onto the ice.

Evans comes from a family of athletes. Brother Fred plays defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, and her uncle is Gary Matthews, former hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs. Her cousin is major league baseball player Gary Matthews Jr. She trains at EFT Sports Performance in Highland Park, Ill., with her brother, Fred. Occasionally, Chicago Bears Matt Forte, Devin Hester, Jason McKie and Nathan Vasher join them.

"We get so competitive, yet they're so encouraging at the same time," Evans told USA Today. "And I love that. I love that about training with those guys. I've matured so much as a person and an athlete mentally as well."

Follow her journey on Twitter. 


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