Elana Meyers Taylor is a four-time World Champion, eight-time World Championships medalist, three-time Winter Olympian and medalist (2010, 2014, 2018) and 2015 World Cup Champion in bobsled.
The daughter of a professional football player, Elana was born in Oceanside, California, but grew up in Douglasville, Georgia. A naturally gifted athlete across many sports, she was drawn to softball and at 9 years old she declared her intention to become an Olympian. She attended George Washington University on a softball scholarship and went on to play professionally for the Mid-Michigan Ice.
After what she calls ‘the worst tryout ever in the history of tryouts’ for the U.S. Olympic Softball Team, it appeared her Olympic dreams were over. It was actually her parents who saw bobsled on television and suggested she give it a try. That turned out to be great advice.
In the summer of 2007 she made the trip to Lake Placid, N.Y., home of the US National Bobsled Team. She never left. Elana turned out to be an incredibly powerful brakeman and less than three years later she stood on the podium in Vancouver as an Olympic bronze medalist.
Post Vancouver, Elana decided to take the wheel, or in the case of bobsled, the ‘D-rings’, and transition to the role of driver. That too turned out to be a great decision. Not long thereafter she became a regular on medals podiums around the world and eventually drove herself all the way back to the Olympic podium in 2014, this time in Sochi, Russia, and this time for silver.
Later in 2014, she became Elana Meyers Taylor, marrying fellow bobsled athlete Nic Taylor in April of that year. Nic was an alternate on the 2018 U.S. Men’s Bobsled Olympic Team. That same year, she earned a place on Team USA Rugby 7s and competed in two international caps before returning to her bobsled training for the upcoming 2018 Olympic Games.
In 2015, Elana made history, becoming the first woman to earn a spot on the U.S. National Team competing with the men as a four-man bobsled pilot. She went on to become the first woman to win a medal in international competition in a men’s event. She won the 2015 World Championships in the women’s two-man event, the first woman in U.S. history to do so. That season she also won six of eight World Cup races and became the Overall World Cup Champion.
Elana’s partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation began more than eight years ago when she received a WSF Travel & Training Fund grant (2010). She received a second Travel & Training Fund grant in 2013, and for the last three years, Elana has served on the Foundation’s Athlete Advisory Panel and traveled the country sharing her passion for sports and equality with girls in our Sports 4 Life and GoGirlGo! funded programs.
Elana served a six-year term as an athlete director on the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Board of Directors and is currently a mentor for Classroom Champions. Recently, George Washington University honored her with an honorary doctorate degree.
In 2018, at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Elana battled back and forth with Team Germany over the four heat Olympic competition, missing the gold medal by just .07. Elana intends to return to the Olympic Games in 2022 and once again fight for gold.