KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Elana Myers wanted to be first. Just not like this.
Meyers crashed the USA-1 sled on Friday while taking her first bobsled trip down the Sanki Sliding Center track, hardly the kind of start the medal favorite wanted to have at the Sochi Games.
Neither Meyers nor alternate brakeman Katie Eberling, riding in place of Lauryn Williams, were injured in the mishap near the bottom of the world's longest track.
"That is not a fun ride," Meyers said with a laugh afterward. "BMW sleds are awesome when they are on all four (runners). They are not fun when they are on their heads. I was the first one to crash one, and now that we've gotten that out of the way, it withheld the test. I'm glad we could figure that out. It's amazingly OK, and we were still fast in the second run and it's good to go."
USA-1 was the only one of 20 sleds not to finish the first training run. Meyers and Eberling were third fastest in their second run, completing the course in 58.11 seconds. Only the Canada-1 and Russia-1 sleds were faster.
Myers explained she was late going into the 16th of 17 curves, touched the sled on the side wall and crashed.
"It shot straight down and tossed me over," she said. "Not fun."
Following the mishap, Meyers and Eberling were checked by members of the U.S. team's medical staff near the spot where they wrecked. They rode in the back of a truck with their sled to the top of the track and were evaluated again before taking their second run. The U.S. team plans to use alternates during training to keep its top pushers fresh.
A brakeman on the 2010 team, Meyers, from Douglasville, Ga., has crashed plenty of times before. She's learned the only way to erase the accident from her mind is to get back in the sled and go again.
"The cool thing about bobsled is that there's that danger and that risk in every single corner," she said. "I get to say, 'I crashed, I took it to the face, but I'm going to face my fear, go back up there and do it again. I'm going to go through curve 16 and I'm going to nail it.'"