Team USA bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor has been cleared to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 last weekend.
Meyers Taylor appeared live on Weekend TODAY, revealing that she was finishing up her stay in an isolation hotel after testing negative for COVID-19 twice.
Now, the bobsledder will move to another hotel where she will continue her training. Meyers Taylor expressed that she was eager to begin preparing for her Olympic race, which is coming up in a week. Luckily, her friends and coaches have been keeping her in the loop.
“They’ve been sending me notes on the track and doing different things like that,” she said of her friends. “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 Team USA athlete has been open about the inspiration behind her drive to compete in these Winter Games: her son, Nico, who will turn two later this month.
“I just want to show him that you can face obstacles and have challenges and overcome them and go after your goals,” she said on TODAY. “This Games has turned out to be one of the most challenging ones I’ve ever competed at and I just want to show him that his mother never gave up.”
Meyers Taylor revealed in an Instagram post on January 31 that she had tested positive for COVID-19 on January 29, two days after arriving in Beijing. Since then, she’s been in isolation, which left her unable to represent Team USA as a flag-bearer in the Opening Ceremony.
While in isolation, Meyers Taylor made do with what she had to continue her workout regime and stay in shape for her events. She shared some of her workouts from her hotel room, showing how she made the best use out of the small space with the equipment she was able to procure, including a barbell.
This year marks Meyers Taylor’s fourth Winter Olympics. Prior to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, she completed and medaled in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
In her Olympic career, Meyers Taylor has earned two silver medals and one bronze, but is hoping to take home her first gold this year.
There are two bobsledding events for women this year, including the two-woman bobsled and the monobob, a new addition this year for the women’s competition. Rather than competing with a team and having multiple people in one sled, the monobob event sends the athletes down solo, which makes controlling the sled that much more difficult.
Meyers Taylor described the new event as "the craziest thing."
“All the time, you just feel like you’re on the edge of your seat trying to control these things,” she told TODAY.
The addition of the monobob event for the women’s competition this year evens the playing ground, giving both men and women two chances to medal.
“Adding monobob is a huge opportunity because it provides women equal opportunities to medal at the games,” Meyers Taylor said. “I’m optimistic about where this is going to go in the future. And it just says a lot for the growth of women’s bobsled.”