Medalist Aja Evans on Being a 'Role Model' as a Black Woman at the Winter Games: I Want to Inspire Others

PEOPLE.com | 2/18/2018 | Staff
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Bobsledder Aja Evans already has one Olympic medal and very well may win another the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea — but regardless of the result at these Games, she has one definite post-competition plan.

“One thing I know for sure that I’m going to do and I’m excited about is going Bigfoot hunting,” she tells PEOPLE with a laugh in the mountains of Pyeongchang, a few days before competing.

Wait - Bigfoot

Wait: Bigfoot. Really?

“I’m randomly like a Bigfoot enthusiast,” Evans says. “I swear I’ve seen every episode of Finding Bigfoot, and Bobo from the show [cast member James Fay] actually tweeted me and told me that we’re going to go Bigfoot hunting after the Olympics. So I’m excited about that because I’m really intrigued by Bigfoot and aliens and all these mysterious creatures and things that may exist in the world.”

PEOPLE - Coverage - Winter - Olympics

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Should she head into the woods after returning to the U.S. — “It’s big in Oregon, areas of Illinois, I have so many places I can go to kind of do it” — Evans is likely to be the only Olympic medalist on the hunt. But being first to head into something has not deterred her before.

Chicago - Star - University - Illinois - Evans

A Chicago native and track-and-field star at the University of Illinois, Evans, 29, got into bobsledding through her college coach. She has recalled how, in 2012, she called her mother in 2012 after the first time she actually slid down a hill in a sled.

Rattled by the experience, Evans was comforted and reassured by mom Sequocoria Mallory.

Years - Bronze - Winter - Games - Sochi

Two years later, she won a bronze at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in a two-woman bobsled piloted by Jamie Greubel Poser.

Beyond that victory — and her frequent social media posts, including Instagram stories which provide a candid and...
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