During the first heats of bobsled's two-woman competition, Team USA announced via social media that four-time Olympian and medalist Elana Meyers Taylor — who has had an eventful experience at the 2022 Winter Olympics, to say the least — would serve as the Closing Ceremony flagbearer on Sunday.
"I was so honored to be named the Opening Ceremony flagbearer, but after not being able to carry the flag, it’s even more humbling to lead the United States at the Closing Ceremony,” Meyers Taylor said in a statement. “Congratulations to my fellow Team USA athletes on all their success — I'm looking forward to carrying the flag with my teammates by my side and closing out these Games.”
Shortly after arrival, Meyers Taylor contracted COVID-19 and was forced to isolate. It was announced days later that Team USA had selected her Opening Ceremony flagbearer alongside curler John Shuster, but — stuck in quarantine — Meyers Taylor ceded the honor to speed skater Brittany Bowe.
The bobsledder was cleared to compete on Feb. 5th, and won silver in the monobob debut on Feb. 13.
Had it not been for Meyers Taylor, monobob may not have become an Olympic event. The Georgia native has been a key figure in the fight for gender equity at the Games, and was one of the most vocal athletes in her sport concerning the addition of a second Olympic bobsled event for women.
Meyers Taylor, 37, currently shares the record as the most decorated female bobsledder in Olympic history with compatriot Kaillie Humphries. She earned two-woman bronze at Vancouver 2010, silver at Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018, and monobob silver at the 2022 Winter Olympics. At the midpoint of the current two-woman race, Meyers Taylor stands third.
The 2022 Winter Olympics marked the first Games in which Meyers Taylor competed as a mother. She is one of only two moms representing the United States at these Games.
In the Twitter video, Meyers Taylor's husband Nic — an alternate on the men's bobsled team — gave Elana the news.
"I know we've been through a lot," Nic said to an emotional, laughing Elana as he gave her a hug.
"Oh my gosh, that is crazy," Meyers responded. "That is unbelievable."
Meyers Taylor is expected to retire following these Games. She finishes the race — and possibly caps her career — with Heats 3 and 4 on Saturday, Feb. 19th at 7 a.m. ET.