Americans Jill Bakken and Violetta Flowers won the gold medal for the U.S. in the first ever women’s bobsledding event at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Nearly 15,000 spectators gathered for the event, and many were cheering for the Bakken and Flowers pair. Completing two runs in 1.37.76 seconds, Bakken and Flowers beat Germany’s first and second sleds which one the silver and bronze respectively.
Bakken and Flowers are the first Americans to win a medal in bobsledding in 46 years. Flowers is also the first African-American to win a gold medal in the history of the Winter Olympics. Of her achievement, Flowers said she hoped to “encourage other African-American girls and boys to give winter sports a try.”