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In full-circle moment, Elana Meyers Taylor named closing ceremony flag bearer for Team USA

The bobsledder finally gets her chance to carry the American flag after she missed the honor during the opening ceremony following a positive COVID-19 test,
/ Source: TODAY

Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor will serve as Team USA’s flag bearer during the closing ceremony of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, it was revealed exclusively on TODAY Friday.

Taylor, 37, had initially been tapped to walk alongside curler John Schuster as a flag bearer at the Parade of Nations during the opening ceremony, but she wasn’t able to after testing positive for COVID-19.

As a result, speedskater Brittany Bowe did the honors with Schuster.

“I can’t think of a better honor, other than walking by myself, than having the opportunity to give to Brittany,” Taylor told TODAY before the games began. “Brittany is an absolutely amazing human being.”

Bowe gave up her spot in one of the Olympic events she qualified for so that Erin Jackson, her friend since childhood, could compete after Jackson slipped and finished third during speedskating trials in Milwaukee.

Jackson later won gold in that event, the women's 500-meter race.

Taylor, who won medals at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Olympics, was cleared to return to the games and won a silver medal in the games' first monobob event.

She later told TODAY that she dedicated her performance to her son, Nico.

“I’m going to tell him that his mama fought like she’s never fought before to go after her dream, to just do everything she could to bring this medal home for him,” she said.

While isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, Taylor had to pump breast milk and have it delivered to Nico.

“This Olympics has been definitely the most challenging Olympics I’ve been to,” Taylor told TODAY.

Winning a silver medal made all the challenges worth it.

“Oh my gosh, I still don’t really believe it,” Taylor told TODAY. “It was just an incredible feeling to know that all we had gone through — me and my family and the team and everyone, to be in isolation, to come and get COVID in China, you know, to come away with any medal — I was just screaming my head off.”