Bobsledder Aja Evans has competed in the 2018 and 2014 games. She won a bronze medal in Sochi, her first Olympics.
Evans was born in Chicago to a family of athletes. Her father, Fred Evans, won a national collegiate title in swimming in 1975, making him the first African American swimmer to do so. Her brother, Fred played eight seasons in the NFL and her uncle, Gary Matthews, and cousin, Gary Matthews Jr., played in MLB.
Evans began as a track and field athlete and attempted to make the 2008 Olympic team.
In 2016, she tried again to make the team for the Rio Games, but tore nearly 90 percent of her ACL. When she didn’t make the team, she turned her attention to bobsledding, where she’s found success.
Other interesting facts:
- Five-time All-American in the shot put at the University of Illinois
- Won three Big Ten titles while at the University of Illinois
- Set start record at the 2012 USA Bobsled National Push Championships
- Posed in ESPN’s Body Issue in 2014