U.S. bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor, a three-time Olympic medalist who tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after arriving at the 2022 Winter Olympics, is now cleared to compete following two consecutive negative tests.
Since her diagnosis, the asymptomatic Meyers Taylor has remained in quarantine – away from husband, Nic, an alternate for the men’s bobsled team, and 2-year-old son, Nico, both of whom traveled with her. She has continued training to the best of her ability, including walks back and forth across her isolation room and spinning on a stationary bike gifted to her by USA Bobsled and Skeleton. She's documented much of her experience on Instagram.
During her isolation, friends and family have provided Meyers Taylor with support – and information. “They’ve been sending me notes on the track and doing different things like that,” Meyers Taylor said. "I also have tons and tons of video from our coaches who've just been doing everything they can to keep me engaged and keep me involved. So I've just been going over that as much as I can and watching video and doing whatever I can to stay ready."
The past few days have been a whirlwind for Meyers Taylor: Shortly after traveling to China, she tested positive on Jan. 29. Then, the Georgia native was selected as a flagbearer for Team USA earlier this week. She presented the honor to speed skater Brittany Bowe, who led the United States in the Parade of Nations alongside curler John Shuster.
The first two heats of women’s monobob – one of seven events added to the 2022 Winter Games, and the only exclusively for women – are set for Saturday, February 12th at 8:30 p.m. ET. The final two runs will take place the next evening, and are slated to follow Super Bowl LVI (56) on NBC.
Meyers Taylor previously earned Olympic bronze at Vancouver 2010, silver at Sochi 2014, and a second silver at PyeongChang 2018. She has widely been viewed as a gold medal contender at these Winter Games, hot off a 2021-22 Bobsled World Cup season that saw her top the standings in both the women's monobob and two-woman disciplines.
This, despite raising a young child who was born a month before a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic hit.
“Part of the reason I started back on this whole journey is because I just wanted to show that it’s possible to come back and perform, and come back and perform at a high level,” Meyers Taylor told NBCOlympics.com in an exclusive interview. “The biggest thing is I wanted to at least just try. And we’ve done more than try, we’ve actually had some success.”
Meyers Taylor is one of only two American mothers at the 2022 Winter Games. When asked which lesson she learned from her own mother that she’d most like to teach her son, Meyers Taylor said: “The world is going to tell you you can’t, and you have to find a way to say you can anyways. You have to go after it, regardless of the circumstances put in front of you.”
UPDATE, 2/9: Meyers Taylor's family, husband Nic and son Nico, are also out of isolation following consecutive COVID negative tests.