Sophie Vercruyssen is part of the two-woman bobsled racing in the Winter Olympics for Belgium. Competition started Tuesday, and Vercruyssen and teammate An Vannieuwenhuyse managed 15th place after the first two runs.
They’ll get another shot at the course on Wednesday with the third and fourth heats. A medal, at this point, will be very difficult to achieve. While each sled keeps only its best time (it’s not cumulative), their best time on Tuesday of 1:42.52 was a full 0.96 seconds off of the bronze-medal pace.
Vercruyssen didn’t even consider competing in bobsled until she saw the event on TV four years ago.
“I followed the 2014 Olympic Winter Games on television and thought, ‘Oh, bobsleigh. That’s something I could do as well,’” she said. “Then I found out that the Belgian federation was organizing an event to scout new talents and I decided to sign up. That’s how it all started.”
Just two years later she won a silver medal at the European Championships. Now she is an Olympian, and an out LGBTQ Olympian at that. She has been with her partner, Lore Simons, for five years.