Elana Meyers Taylor honored in hometown for Olympic greatness

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Elana Meyers Taylor, her neck carrying almost seven pounds in precious Olympic metals, worked the room as effortlessly as a bobsled track in Beijing, PyeongChang, Sochi or Vancouver. She smiled, shook hands and was photographed with more than 20 city and county politicians from her hometown of Douglasville and Douglas County on Friday in a vacant store at Arbor Place mall in Douglasville.

Meyers Taylor, the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics history, was gracious, sharing her three silvers and two bronze medals with whomever asked to touch or wear one. After welcomed by a band from her old high school, Lithia Springs, she received many proclamations and many gifts, including a watch, in a larger, public celebration attended by more than a hundred people one floor down at the mall.

Meyers Taylor, wearing blue Olympic gear, was honored with her husband, Nic, and son, Nico, for being the most decorated female bobsledder in Olympic history, the most decorated U.S. bobsledder of any generation, and, at 37 years old, the oldest U.S. woman to win an Olympic medal when she finished with a silver in the debut of the monobob, a competition which Meyers Taylor fought for years to include in the Games, and a bronze in the two-man in the recently completed Beijing Olympics.

“My success just really shows you that anything’s possible that you could set goals, go after them and achieve them,” she said. “And that’s the thing is when I was a little girl, I set a goal to be an Olympian. I didn’t even set a goal to win five medals, but it happened. So, the sky’s the limit when you’re willing to go after your dreams.”

Meyers Taylor credited her husband and her son with her success, describing them as her greatest motivators. It was easy to see why as Nico often clapped and cheered his mom as she stood on the stage receiving adulation from many.

Even in Beijing, Meyers Taylor said Douglasville never was far from her mind, especially when she was forced into isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

Meyers Taylor recovered, competed and was able to carry the flag in the closing ceremonies for the U.S. It was a nice recovery because she was supposed to carry the flag in the Opening Ceremonies before she tested positive.

“It was just one of the best achievements of my life,” she said. “And it means so much because your Team USA teammates vote on something that’s given to you like that. So the fact that they elected me first for the opening ceremony, and then re-election voting in the closing ceremony showed how much they respected me as a person and respected my achievements.”

Now that Meyers Taylor is home, she said she wants to do normal things for a while. She wants to take care of Nico, go grocery shopping, hang out with her family and friends. She also wants to grow her family, saying Nico needs a brother.

Finding that daily balance is one of the keys to her success as a wife, mom and Olympic athlete.

“Every single day, we just go out there and try to be the best version of ourselves,” she said. “That’s really all it is. It’s just trying to be the best whatever you can. It’s not easy and you’re not always going to be the best. As long as you’re going out there and trying.”

She said she hasn’t yet decided if she wants to try to compete in 2026 and add a sixth medal. If she did, she said it would be because her son Nico would be old enough to understand what her mom is doing. He’s too young at that moment, but Meyers Taylor said he does love her medals, particularly the Silver one from Beijing. Holding it up, she said you can already see the wear and tear that toddlers can innocently inflict on most things. She said the two won in Beijing are her favorites because of Nico.

“It’s quite overwhelming to enter your name among history,” she said. “And it’s not something that I really expected. It’s not something that I really was going for. I just was trying to do the best I could to win medals. And fortunately, it worked out. So that’s really the thing is just going out there and try and be the best version of yourself.”