The Sochi Network

American sprinter-bobsledder agonisingly close to unique golden double

The Sochi Network

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Lauryn Williams celebrates gold in London and silver in Sochi

Lauryn Williams of the United States came within a tenth of a second of becoming the first woman to win gold in both the Summer and Winter Olympics on Wednesday.

Williams teamed up with Elana Meyers to take silver in the women's bobsleigh, missing out to Canada's Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse by 0.10.

Had Williams won gold, it would have been the second of her Olympic career, just 18 months after the first: she was part of the winning quartet in the women's 4x100m at London 2012. The veteran sprinter - a former world champion at 100m - also has another silver at home, which she won in the 100m at Athens in 2004.

Despite not pulling off the golden double, her silver medal still makes her only the fifth person to have medalled at both Olympics.

The 30-year-old laughed off any disappointment at coming so close to earning a historic summer-winter golden double, however, despite she and Meyers having led the competition by 0.11 seconds going in to the final run.

"I didn't come here to make history," Williams said. "I came here to help Team USA.

"It's never about the medal for me.

"There's nothing more exciting than sliding with Elana tonight. I'm going to remember the talks we had today, and this week. It's not about this thing I get to hold in my hand."

Meyers didn't see it quite the same way, however: she ended up with bronze in Vancouver four years ago, and was clearly annoyed at having missed out once again.

"Anytime you're that close, and you can taste it, and you don't come out with the result, it hurts a little bit," she said.

Despite it being a gold-silver combo rather than a double gold, Williams's feat will be long remembered. Here are the other athletes who have won medals at both Winter and Summer Games.

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Edward Eagan

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Eddie Eagan with his bobsleigh crew in 1932 (main picture), and as a boxer in 1920 (inset)

The former American boxer and bobsledder Edward Eagan is the only person to complete the golden double.

Eagan won the light-heavyweight boxing title at the 1920 Summer games, beating Norway's Sverre Sorsdal in the final bout in Antwerp.

And 12 years later he interrupted his successful career as a lawyer (for which he trained at Harvard and Oxford, despite growing up in poverty) to become part of the winning crew in the four-man bobsleigh at the 1932 Winter Games, when Billy Fiske's legendary quartet won by an astonishing two seconds.

Jacob Tullin Thams

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Jacob Tullin Thams

The Norwegian started his athletic career in ski jumping, and he won Olympic gold at Chamonix in 1924. After turning to sailing, he won silver as part of the six-man crew racing in the eight-metre class in 1936.

Clara Hughes

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Clara Hughes at Vancouver 2010

The Canadian started her career in cycling, winning bronze in both the individual road race and individual time trial in 1996. She then moved in to speed skating, where she won 5,000m gold at the 2006 Winter Games. She also won silver in the team pursuit the same year, and picked up bronzes in the 5,000m in 2002 and 2010.

Christa Luding

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Christa Luding-Rothenburger

The East Germany all-rounder has the most amazing story of the lot, an astonishing record of winning multiple medals that is made all the more incredible by the fact that her summer and winter sporting careers ran concurrently.

In the Winter Olympics she won four medals in speed skating: gold in the 500m in 1984 and the 1,000m in 1988; silver in the 500m in 1988; and bronze in the 500m in 1992. Right in the middle of all that she won silver in match sprint cycling at the 1988 Summer Games.

Her astonishing feat in 1988 makes her the only athlete to win medals in both Winter and Summer Games in the same year

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Christa Luding shows off her gold from Calgary 1988 and silver from Seoul 1988

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