Spc. Lake Kwaza, a soldier assigned to the Army’s World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado, claimed a bobsled World Cup victory Jan. 2 in Sigulda, Latvia.

Despite not having raced together in over a year, Kwaza and her teammate, Elana Meyers Taylor, managed to snag the gold medal, finishing two runs in 1 minute, 41.88 seconds. The pair beat the British and Canadian teams for gold by .22 and .24 of a second respectively.

“Since the day I took up Bobsled and made my first World Cup Team, my goal was to be on the podium every opportunity I have,” Kwaza said in a WCAP press release. “This has been my motivation and so far every World Cup race with Elana has ended with us on the podium.”

After their first run, the American duo were tied with team Russia’s Nadezhda Sergeeva and Yulia Belomestnykh, but the Russian pair crashed during their second run, ultimately finishing 15th.

“The race last weekend was very close with Russia,” Kwaza said. “The amount of focus between myself and Elana couldn’t have been any better.”

Kwaza, now a two-time World Cup gold medalist after first winning in 2019 at the competition in Lake Placid, New York, will hopefully be heading to China for the Beijing Olympics in February.

The final two World Cup bobsled and skeleton circuit legs will be completed by Jan. 16, with stops in Germany and Switzerland.

WCAP allows gifted soldiers from active, reserve and National Guard components to compete in international athletic competitions while still serving in the Army. Soldier-athletes are given access to elite civilian and military coaches and trainers with the goal of representing the United States both in uniform and at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran and a master's candidate at New York University's Business & Economic Reporting program.

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