After Elana Meyers Taylor finished four years of collegiate softball, she set her sights on USA Softball’s 2008 Olympic Team. Little did she know, she would later make headlines in a completely different Olympic sport. After trying out and failing to make the last American Olympic softball team in 2007, Meyers Taylor didn’t give up on her Olympic dreams. Meyers Taylor emailed the USA Bobsledding women’s coach to ask about training in bobsled and was invited to tryout with the team at USA Bobsled headquarters in Lake Placid, New York.
As she began her training in Lake Placid, Meyers Taylor learned to keep herself in top shape. She keeps a clean diet, totaling about 1700 calories a day, since female bobsled athletes have to “make weight” to compete. She is smart with her food and uses it to fuel the intense workouts she does each day.
Physically, bobsled requires lower body and core strength along with explosive speed to push the bobsled at the start of a race. Meyers Taylor focuses heavily explosive lifts, such as squats and cleans, to mimic the quick bursts of speed and strength that are needed on the ice. She also does a lot of high-intensity sprint work as cardio to engage her fast-twitch muscle fibers.
This training has helped Meyer Taylor make waves throughout the bobsled world. She won a silver medal at World Championships in her second season with the team in 2008. She then made the 2010 Olympic team and raced to a bronze medal as Erin Pac’s brakeman. After the 2010 Games, Meyers Taylor switched from the brakeman position to the pilot position, where she holds a 2014 Olympic silver medal and two world championships.
Meyers Taylor married fellow bobsledder Nic Taylor in 2014, becoming the go-to bobsled power couple. Taylor proposed to enana while she was on the podium for her 2013 silver medal World Championship victory, and their wedding vows included several bobsled and training references. The two have even competed together during the 2016 World Cup with Nic as a push member while Elana piloted a four-man bobsled to 13th place finish!
In addition to her tremendous accomplishments on the ice, Meyers Taylor has also taken on a huge role in the recruiting process for American women’s bobsledding. She often looks to find accomplished athletes in other sports, either through the Olympics or the NCAA, in order to bolster the US team. Most notably, she has encouraged Summer Olympic athletes, such as Lauryn Williams and Lolo Jones, to join her on the ice. Meyers Taylor also makes a point of bringing strong, powerful women of color, like herself, who often come with other sports backgrounds, into the bobsledding world. She encourages all athletes, of any background, to reach out to her to find out more about competing in bobsled and helping to grow the sport in the US.
Through her hard work and results both on and off the ice, Meyers Taylor has become the face of the US women’s bobsled program. She is a spokesperson for Procter & Gamble’s new 2018 #LoveOverBias Olympic campaign and has teamed up with 24 Hour Fitness this year to give the rest of the country a taste of her training regiment. Meyers Taylor is also a part of Coca Cola’s Winter Olympic ad campaign and was recently featured on a billboard in Times Square during the 100 Days Out Olympic event last week.
Meyers Taylor is poised to thrive at the PyeongChang Olympics this February. Her ultimate success will not only be celebrated by her bobsled teammates, but also by her supporters across the country, who have had the chance to watch her grow and train within the sport over the past several seasons.