By Michael Pavitt

Lauryn Williams won Sochi 2014 bobsleigh silver alongside her pilot Elana Meyers ©AFP/Getty ImagesSochi 2014 silver medallist Lauryn Williams has announced her retirement from bobsleigh, with the American athlete ending her career as one of only five athletes to medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Williams began her career as a sprinter and made her Olympic debut at the Athens 2004 Summer Games, where she secured a silver medal in the women's 100 metres behind Yulia Nestsiarenka of Belarus.

She also competed for the US at the Bejing 2008 and was a member of the 4x100m relay team that won the gold medal at London 2012.

Following London 2012, Williams retired from athletics and looked to utilise her speed as a pusher in bobsleigh and in her debut season was selected for the US Winter Olympic team, teaming up with Elana Meyers to win silver in the two-woman bobsleigh event.

Williams ended her bobsleigh career by topping the podium with Meyers at the Viessmann International Bobsleigh and Skeleton (FIBT) World Cup event in Igls, Austria, last week. 

She claimed that she was "exhausted" after more than a decade competing internationally.

"I spent a lot of time going back and forth about whether do another season," Williams told the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USBSF).

"As an athlete I am exhausted having done sports since age nine and competing professionally for the last 10 years.

"Yet, I fell in love with bobsled after just six months and wish I had found it sooner.

"It really poured a refreshing sense of life into my heart, which was just what I needed at this point in my life."

Williams was a member of the US team that won women's 4x100 metre gold at London 2012 ©Getty ImagesWilliams was a member of the US team that won women's 4x100 metre gold at London 2012 ©Getty Images

Williams is one of two US athletes to have won medals at both Summer and Winter Olympic Games, after Eddie Eagan.

Eagan remains the only athlete to have secure gold at both Games, having won in the light heavyweight boxing at the 1920 Antwerp Summer Olympics before winning gold in the four-man bobsleigh twelve years later at the 1932 Lake Placid Winter Games.

Jacob Tullin Thams of Norway, Clara Hughes of Canada and Christa Luding of East Germany have also secured medals at both Games.

Luding the only athlete to have won medals in the same year, winning cycling silver at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics just months after taking gold and silver in speed skating at the Calgary Winter Olympics.

"Lauryn has been a great asset for the team, both on and off the track," Darrin Steele, USBSF chief executive, said. 

"Her athletic ability is well known, but her positive energy and generous spirit helped build the kind of team culture that has led to the success we see today.

"We hate to lose her, but we respect her decision to move on and wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life."

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