Williams in medal history, but Canada take bobsleigh title
US-1 two-woman bobsleigh brakewoman Lauryn Williams finishes her run in the Women's Bobsleigh Heat 3 at the Sliding Center Sanki during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 19, 2014 - by Leon Neal
Canada's Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse defended their title, overturning a 0.23sec deficit after Tuesday's first two runs to win with a combined time of 3min 50.61sec finishing 0.1sec ahead of the second-placed US team.
Williams, a silver medallist in the 2004 Athens Olympics 100m and part of the 2012 gold-medal relay squad in London, was the brakewoman on USA-1, piloted by Elana Meyers.
"It's really cool to be here tonight and to be on a podium and to get that silver medal," Williams said.
"I came here not to make history but to help the USA. And I feel like I did the best I could for it and I'm really excited with our performance and we're happy to be here."
She is the first woman and only the second person in history to win medals in Summer and Winter Games.
Eddie Eagan of the United States won a boxing medal at the 1920 Summer Games and a four-man bobsleigh medal at the 1932 Olympics.
Meyers and Williams, who led by 0.23sec after first two runs on Tuesday, made errors on Wednesday which forced them into the silver medal position.
"It's a bit sad (to lose the lead), Meyers said.
"Many times we were so close and we could taste it. It hurts a little bit. But at the end of the day I'm super-relieved with this medal. I have to deal with this to go back and train even harder for Pyeongchang (venue of the 2018 Games)."
Humphries said: "It's really hard to describe my feelings."
"Sacrifices have been made not only by myself but also my friends, my family. And than Heather has come on board (after surgery). It's just something we have done together. And it's great."
The USA-2 team of Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans won bronze with a time of 3min 51.61sec.
"If you've asked me four years ago if I'd be an Olympic medallist I don't think I would believe you," Greubel said.
"But to cross the finish line and to know that we did it together, it's such an incredible feeling."
The third US team of Jazmine Fenlator and former US Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, who was a controversial selection with some critics claiming she had been selected for her good looks and high media profile, were 11th.