Who is Elana Meyers Taylor?
Born Oct. 10, 1984 in Camp Pendleton, Calif. Meyers Taylor, a collegiate softball player, did not have a lot of experience with winter sports when she started bobsledding in 2007—she did not even own a winter coat. She was inspired to try the sport after watching Vonetta Flowers win gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Meyers Taylor was attracted by the speed of bobsled, and was able to relate to it because she used to ride down hills on a skateboard on her stomach and back.
Meyers Taylor pushed Erin Pac to the bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Immediately after the Vancouver Games, she switched to being a pilot. Four years later, Meyers Taylor drove to the silver medal in Sochi with Lauryn Williams.
In 2015, she became the first U.S. female bobsled driver to win a world championship. She claimed her second world championship gold medal in 2017.
Meyers Taylor, along with two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries, became the first women to drive four-man bobsleds in World Cup competition in 2014. They were able to race against men after World Cup four-man bobsled was made gender neutral.
“There were some little girls at the track that were excited to watch women’s bobsled today, and hopefully what Kaillie and I are doing inspires them,” Meyers Taylor said at the time. “I hope someday a woman racing in four-man isn’t news.”
She is involved in a wide-variety of causes. She is an Athlete Mentor for Classroom Champions, which was founded by 2010 Olympic four-man bobsled gold medalist Steve Mesler. She is a member of the Athlete Advisory Council for the Women’s Sports Foundation. She is also an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, and she volunteers with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
She interned in the finance department of the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland. Her goal is to eventually become the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
“As a coach, you count your blessings every day to have an athlete like that,” said U.S. bobsled head coach Brian Shimer. “All of the qualities that you would want in an athlete, Elana has. She is a great all-around person, and a pleasure to have as an athlete.”
2014: Silver medal
2010: Bronze medal
Off the ice
Meyers Taylor is married to fellow bobsledder Nic Taylor. He proposed on the medal podium of the 2013 World Championships, after she claimed the silver medal. They have even competed as teammates in four-man bobsled. She refers to him as “my partner, my best friend, my teammate, my coach, my sports psych, my mechanic, my bobspike maker, my sounding board and everything in between.”
The uber-athletic Meyers Taylor was offered college scholarships for four sports: basketball, soccer, softball and track and field. She chose to play softball at George Washington University. She has played for the U.S. rugby national team, and she wants to try to play softball at the 2020 Olympics.