Aja LeShawn Evans was Born in Chicago, IL to Sequocoria Mallory-Evans and Fred Evans, Jr., with siblings Racheal Evans and Fred Evans III, Aja inherited her family’s athleticism and drive. Aja’s mother was a supreme track & field athlete. Her father was the first Black swimmer to win a national collegiate championship. Her brother, Fred, currently plays defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings. Her uncle Gary “Sarge” Matthews is a former MLB player and coach for teams such as the Cubs, Phillies and Blue Jays. Aja’s cousin and Gary’s son, Gary Matthews Jr played in the MLB as well.
Aja Evans’ bobsled experience went as far as the movie “Cool Runnings.”
That changed during the 2010 Winter Olympics, when her University of Illinois track coach, Mike Erb, realized her combination of skills was ideal for a sled pusher and encouraged her to try the sport.
Aja began training for the USA Women’s Bobsled team in March of 2012. She finished the season with a World Cup silver medal and wound up as USA Bobsled’s rookie of the year. Working with Elias Karras, founder of EFT Sports Performance in Highland Park, IL, she has developed into a world-class athlete for two Olympic sports.
It was undoubtedly Aja’s mother who inspired her to become a track & field athlete in high school. As one who is forever striving to learn and improve, Aja’s domination in her sport increased each year. Beginning her collegiate career at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Aja was a West Regional finalist and Mountain West Runner-Up in Shot Put her freshman year. Soon after, she decided to transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I).
At the U of I, Aja had an outstanding athletic career. She was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week numerous times from 2008-2010, Big Ten Athlete of the Championships in 2010, 3-time Big Ten Champion, 3- time First Team All Big Ten, and 5-time Division 1 All-American.
On top of her collegiate success, Aja was given the opportunity to represent Team USA in 2008 at the NACAC Championships in Toluca, Mexico and compete in the 2008 Olympic Trials.
With the Winter Olympic season approaching, Aja attended – and dominated – the Team Official Combine. She recorded a Combine total score of 800/800 – the first athlete to ever do so. Her domination continued as she was named Push Champion and Lake Placid Olympic Training Center Athlete of the Month. Then, in February and the 2013 World Cup, Aja and her driver, Elana Meyers, won the silver medal and set a new start record in Sochi Russia – on the very same track where they will compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Aja’s record-breaking streak is unparalleled in Women’s Bobsled, and her journey has just begun.
Known as the coaches’ Secret Weapon, this is only the beginning of an incredible Olympic career. A career where Aja’s vision comes true – becoming a 3-time Olympic medalist in both the Winter and Summer Olympics: 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Here are some old news about her life and experience
ESPN The Magazine 2014 Body Issue
Aja Evans and teammate Jamie Greubel won the bronze medal in the women’s bobsled at the Sochi Olympics.
Working out and keeping in shape never stops for 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Aja Evans.
Aja Evans Attends Best Of U.S Awards
More than 200 Olympic and Paralympic athletes attended the first awards show of its kind.
Aja Evans Throws Ceremonial First Pitch
The Olympic bronze medalist bobsledder sought advice before throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on Monday.
From Morgan Park to Olympic Park
Olympic medalist Aja Evans may not be the driver, but she is always in control.
Aja Evans to Throw Out First Pitch at White Sox Game
The White Sox start the season versus the Twins on Monday, March 31st
Chicago Sports Museum and Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch
Experience the interactive fun at the newest venture from Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group (HCRG), Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch and the Chicago
Aja Evans to Join American 300 Foundation
American300 is a charitable and educational organization which sponsors activities aimed at motivating and honoring our service members.
Aja Evans walked the red carpet on Tuesday at the world premiere of Divergent which stars Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet.
From Sochi to South Side, Olympians March in Irish Parade
Evans, who won a bronze medal in the bobsled competition, said she was “honored to be a part of the parade … on the South Side where I grew up.”
U.S. Sliders Celebrate Historic Season
The U.S. is the only nation to medal in every women’s bobsled Olympic event since the discipline made its debut at the 2002 Salt Lake City Game.
USA bobsledder Aja Evans Talks Olympic Experience
The USA bobsledder said nothing but positive things about her experience in Russia.
Aja Evans Returns to Illinois After Winning Bronze in Sochi
The best part of it all was having her family by her side.
Aja Evans on Fox and Friends on March 7th
Aja Evans will be on Fox and Friends on March 7th at 07:30am EST.
Aja Evans Gunning for 2016 Olympics in Rio
After earning a bronze medal in Sochi, Aja Evans is feeling on top of the world.
Elton John’s Oscar Party
The Academy Awards were on at Elton John AIDS Foundation’s viewing dinner party, but the real entertainment came from the performances, celeb watching, and the surreal moments of the evening.
Big Ten Totals 20 Medals at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi
Evans placed third in the USA-2 sled, helping Team USA to two medals in women’s bobsledding for the first time.
Video: Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel talk about winning the bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel talk about winning the bronze medal in the women’s two-man bobsled event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
Aja Evans shared her experiences at the medal ceremony where she earned a bronze medal.
US women’s bobsled eyes future
Aja Evans is ready to make a run at the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Evans wins bronze!
U.S. women: 1st medals in bobsled.
Family thrilled for Evans
Relatives thrilled as Chicago’s Evans closes in on bronze as brakeman.
6 lessons parents can learn from Olympic coaches
Like parents, coaches work to inspire and encourage their charges to do their best.
Women’s Bobsled: Aja Evans gets going today
The race for a medal starts on Tuesday.
US Olympian Aja Evans Interviewed
The 2014 Olympics have started in Sochi. To celebrate, we have been interviewing several of the athletes going for the gold. Among those athletes is Aja Evans of the US Olympic Bobsled Team.
Aja Evans photos