Lauren Gibbs has often approached life with the word “yes” on the tip of her tongue. It’s a word she uses liberally when interesting opportunities present themselves—like when she joined the volleyball team in college after being recruited to run track. So, years later, it wasn’t surprising that Lauren accepted the challenge when a friend made an off-the-cuff remark about her trying bobsled at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center (OPTC). It became the “yes” that changed the course of her journey.
Her bobsledding experience at the OPTC delivered a mixture of fear and exhilaration that she didn't realize was missing from her life. Weeks later, she got a call to attend rookie camp as a part of the nation's bobsled team and considered the invitation an opportunity to do something that she never dreamed possible. True to form, Lauren said “yes” again and left her full-time job to train year-round for a spot on Team USA. She wanted to prove to herself that she had the grit to see this endeavor through, and, in 2018, she became an Olympic silver medalist for Team USA.
To represent your country on the biggest stage is one of the hardest things to describe, but I can say it’s one of the most rewarding.
I want to help women understand their true worth—and that comes from the work we put in, not from external validation.
Whether she’s sitting in the rumbling cockpit of a bobsled, working with a company to help close the gender pay gap or standing in front of a rapt audience at a speaking engagement, Lauren feels it’s her purpose to support and empower women by expressing her vulnerability. “There are a lot of things I have figured out, but there are a lot of things I’m not good at," and Lauren has no problem sharing that with the world if it helps inspire other female athletes to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.