Lauryn Williams and her pilot, Elana Meyers, are in first place in the women’s bobsled after two runs. Williams has 2 Olympics medals, a silver in the 100 metres at the 2004 Olympics, and a gold in the 4×100 relay at London in 2012. If they win the gold medal tomorrow, Lauryn Williams will become the 2nd Olympian, and 1st female Olympian, to win gold medals at both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games.
The first was Eddie Eagan. Who was Eddie Eagan? Eagan won a gold medal in light-heavyweight boxing at the 1920 Summer Olympics and returned 12 years later to win a bobsledding gold medal in the 4-man at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. But he was more – a lawyer, war hero, and Rhodes Scholar. Here is our bio of Eagan from our website – www.sports-reference.com/olympics:
As the only person to win a gold medal at both the Winter Games in a winter sport and the Summer Games in a summer sport, Eddie Eagan holds a unique place in Olympic history. In 1920 at Antwerp, Eagan beat Thomas Holstock (SAF), then Harold Franks (GBR), and in the final Sverre Sørsdal of Norway to win the gold medal in the light-heavyweight division. After the Olympics, Eagan returned to Yale Law School. He left there in 1922 to become a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford where he soon made his mark in British amateur boxing circles.
At the 1924 Olympics, Eagan chose not to defend his light-heavyweight title but instead weighed in as a heavyweight. He met first the Englishman, Arthur Clifton who had replaced Eagan as British ABA champion. After a grueling three rounds Clifton got the verdict but in doing so, so severely injured his hands that he could not come forward for his second round match. After competing twice in the summer Games, Eagan made his debut at the Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid. It was here that he made Olympic history when, as a member of the 4-man bobsled team, he added a gold medal to the one he had won at the summer Games twelve years earlier.
Eagan obtained a B.A. degree from Oxford in 1928 and in 1932 was admitted to the U.S. Bar. He practiced law untiI the outbreak of World War II when he rejoined the armed forces. Colonel Eagan served with distinction throughout the period of hostilities and was awarded ribbons for combat in all three theatres of operations.
Is Eagan the only athlete to win medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics? No. It has been done by three other athletes. The second to do it was Norwegian Jacob Tullin Thams, who won a gold medal in ski jumping at the 1924 Chamonix Olympics, and 12 years later, won a silver medal in 8-metres class sailing at Berlin.
Two women have since won Summer/Winter medals. One was Canadian Clara Hughes who competed in 6 Olympic Games between 1996-2012 in cycling and speed skating. Hughes won 6 Olympic medals, 2 in cycling in 1996, and 4 in speed skating in 2002/2006/2010. The other was Christa Rothenburger-Luding, also a cyclist/speed skater, who competed for the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) at the Olympics in 1980-88, and for Germany in 1992. Rothenburger-Luding won 5 Olympic medals, 4 in speed skating, and 1 in track sprint cycling at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She is the only athlete to have won Winter/Summer medals in the same year, which can no longer occur, winning gold/silver at Calgary in 1988 in addition to her track cycling silver medal.
So even if Meyers/Williams don’t win gold tomorrow in women’s bobsledding, Williams could add to the list of Summer/Winter medalists if she wins any medal. Another possibility to do this is Belgium’s Hanna Mariën, who, braking for Elfje Willemsen, is in 4th place in the event after 2 runs. Mariën won a silver medal in the 4×100 relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.