U.S. Olympic bobsledder Jamie Greubel Poser was sitting in a sports medicine office in 2011 when she found out that PyeongChang, South Korea would host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
She had wanted to visit South Korea ever since her younger sister, Elizabeth, was adopted from the country.
“How great would that be if I could compete in 2018, in the country where she was born?” Greubel Poser remembers thinking. “It would really be the trip of a lifetime for my family.”
Elizabeth joined the Greubel family at five months old, when Greubel Poser was in high school. They are close, despite the 17-year age difference.
“I have watched her grow up to be the most loving, caring and happy person I know,” said Greubel Poser, who is now 34.
Growing up, the family often ate at a local Korean restaurant. Greubel Poser proudly watches Elizabeth sing in concerts. When Greubel Poser returned from Sochi with the Olympic bobsled bronze medal, she visited Elizabeth’s high school class and talked to the students.
“I just love being a sister,” said Greubel Poser, who also has two younger brothers: Eric and Andrew.
But they occasionally notice the age difference, especially when dealing with technology. Elizabeth did not recognize the GPS that Greubel Poser had mounted on the windshield of her car.
“I was like, ‘How do you not know this is a GPS?’” Greubel Poser said. “She's like, ‘Oh, it looks weird.’”
In PyeongChang, Greubel Poser is expected to be a medal threat. She partnered with Aja Evans to claim the 2016-2017 World Cup overall title. The duo also won a 2017 World Cup race on the 2018 Olympic track.
Off the ice, Greubel Poser is hoping to explore South Korea with Elizabeth, who has not been back to the country since she was adopted as a baby. The opportunity to bring her family to PyeongChang in 2018 motivated Greubel Poser to continue competing for another four years after the Sochi Games.
“I kind of felt like it was meant to be,” Greubel Poser said.