Four-time Team USA Olympian Elana Meyers Taylor just won her fourth Olympic medal in bobsledding – her first since becoming a mother and dedicated her win to her infant son, Nico, who has Down syndrome.
As a four-time Olympic medalist, Meyers Taylor has the most medals in US bobsled history and is tied for the sixth most medals in US Winter Olympic history!
In these Olympic games, Meyers Taylor has made it her mission to encourage other female athletes that they can have children while still pursuing their dreams.
Prior to the Olympics, the 37-year-old mother shared on Instagram that even though she didn’t know how the Olympics would turn out that she wanted to show, “It’s possible to have a baby and come back from pregnancy and continue competing. It’s possible to do extended breastfeeding and physically perform better than most in the works. It’s possible to travel the world with your family, including a baby, and win races. It’s possible to parent a child with special needs and continue to chase your dreams. It’s not easy- there’s definitely moments of doubt and extreme highs and lows- but it’s possible.”
Elana and her husband, Nic Taylor, also an Olympic bobsledder, welcomed their son Nico to the world in February 2020. Nico was diagnosed with Down syndrome and significant hearing loss shortly after his birth.
Elana says that her son is her inspiration in these Olympics games. “He’s had challenges in his short life, and he is so resilient. He inspires me and makes me want to be a better person every day.”
In a video compiled by The Today Show, Elana shared that the moment her son was born, he became her primary focus, and she would do whatever she needed to do to take care of him, even if that meant walking away from bobsledding.
Thankfully, Elana didn’t have to give up bobsledding. With the support of her husband, family, and friends, she has pursued her Olympic bobsledding dreams while making her son and family a priority.
In fact, she says it’s because of Nico that she continues to compete. “He is the reason I’m still bobsledding to this day because I want to prove to him that just because you have something to overcome doesn’t mean you have to stop going after your dreams.”
Yes! And Amen!
You may not be surprised to learn that Elana is a Christian. She shared with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) that when her college softball team’s season was canceled because they weren’t doing well that she became depressed. She said, “I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know what my purpose was. I just started researching religions. Something inside of me told me I needed more than this.” She recalled that one day, “It hit me that Jesus is the way. I can’t explain it by anything other than that. It was so strong and powerful; I knew that I needed to change my life.”
Elana got involved in a Christian student athletes’ group at her university and became one of its leaders. She said it was an amazing opportunity “to be able to share God’s Word and my faith with people all over our school.”
Elana believes that she was put in a bobsled “to help people not only reach their goals but come to Christ.”
She continued, “God put me here for a specific reason, and I don’t think it’s just to win medals. At the end of the day, I’m in this sport to glorify God, so if that means I come in last place, or I win the gold medal, that’s what I’m going to do.”
I think you’re right, Elana! God gave you this platform for a reason. Thank you for inspiring women all around the world with your commitment to your family while following your dreams and especially for reminding all of us of the intrinsic value of every human being.
Meyers Taylor is still competing at the Olympics if you’d like to tune in and cheer her on. Her last event is the traditional two-person women’s bobsled race on February 18th and 19th.
Photo from Instagram.