Olympic Medalist, Bobsled
National Advisory Board
From the second she was born, Aja LeShawn Evans had a purpose – to showcase beauty, strength and supreme athleticism, inspiring young girls across the nation to reach for their dreams through sports.
The Chicago native inherited her family’s athletic ability and drive. Aja’s mother, Sequocoria Mallory-Evans was a supreme track & field athlete, while her father, Fred Evans, Jr., was the first black swimmer to win a national collegiate championship. Aja’s brother, Fred Evans III, played eight seasons in the NFL. Her uncle, Gary “Sarge” Matthews, is a former MLB player and coach for the Cubs, Phillies and Blue Jays. And Aja’s cousin, Gary Matthews, Jr. played in the MLB as well.
Following in her mother’s footsteps, Aja became a star track and field athlete, both as a sprinter and shot putter. At the University of Illinois, Aja 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 All-American. She represented Team USA in 2008 at the NACAC Championships and competed in the 2008 Olympic Trials.
Aja’s bobsled career began in 2012 when her college track coach, Mike Erb, encouraged her to attend the Team Official Combine for winter sports. She not only competed, she dominated, scoring 800 out of 800 points – the first athlete to ever do so. She was named USA Women’s Bobsled Push Champion and USA Women’s Bobsled Rookie of the Year in 2012-2013, setting track records around the world and finishing second in the World Cup.
Being an Olympian has always been on Aja’s radar, and in 2014 she did just that. Aja Evans made her first Olympic team, scoring a Bronze Medal at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Competing in 2018 marked Aja’s second Olympics in Pyeongchang, with her family right there by her side.
Aside from appearing on numerous red carpets, and being featured in the ESPN Body Issue, Aja used platform to partner with brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, BMW USA, and Wintrust Financial. It didn’t stop there, Aja was also featured in Procter & Gamble’s Thank You Mom and Love Over Bias campaigns, sharing her story with millions around the world.
Since the 2018 Winter Games, Aja has transitioned from a sports lineup to creating Aja Wins!, brand focused on helping others win in all aspects of life. Her foundation, Aspiring Journeys Ahead (A.J.A. Foundation) was put in place to inspire the next generation of female student athletes, leaders, and trailblazers, by providing young women with resources to maximize their collegiate experience. Aja’s mentorship program and platform will guide others through their journey to being professional athletes, entrepreneurs and beyond.