Katie Eberling Heads To Sochi As Bobsled Alternate - NBC Chicago
Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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Katie Eberling Heads To Sochi As Bobsled Alternate

Illinois bobsledder will travel and train with the team

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    Palos Hills native Katie Eberling was initially a volleyball star, but she'll find out this weekend if she'll make the Olympic bobsled team. (Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014)

    Looks like Illinois bobsledder Katie Eberling is headed to Sochi after all.

    After the Palos Hills-based hopeful was passed over this weekend for Lolo Jones, the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation announced Tuesday Eberling will serve as a replacement athlete.

    She joins Kristi Koplin from Cedar City, Utah; Chris Langton from Melrose, Mass.; and Andreas Drbal from Belmont, Calif. as alternates who will travel and train with the U.S. team.

    Replacements can substitute for competing athletes during training runs, according to the USBSF,  and are eligible to compete if a member of the team becomes ill or injured.

    Eberling's strong resume made her a fierce contender. She landed past world championship medals and won three World Cup bronzes this winter.

    Some call Sunday's outcome a part of Olympic politics. Darrin Steele, CEO of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, called the field extremely tough this year.

    "This is the deepest field of push athletes we've ever had," Steele said. "We knew heading into the season that the Olympic selection was going to be extremely difficult. It's a good problem to have, but it meant that some outstanding athletes would not make the Olympic team."