Elana Meyers Taylor cleared to compete after negative COVID-19 tests

USA's three-time Olympic bobsleigh medallist had tested positive days after arriving for the Games, forcing her to miss flagbearing duties at Opening Ceremony.

By Danny Lewis
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Team USA bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor has been cleared to compete at the Olympic Winter Games after giving her required negative COVID-19 tests on Saturday (5 February).

The three-time Olympic bobsleigh medallist tested positive two days after arriving in China, shortly before the start of Beijing 2022.

The 37-year-old had to self-isolate and tried to continued training in her hotel room.

Meyers Taylor was voted to be Team USA's flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony, alongside curler John Shuster, but speed skater Brittany Bowe stepped in to replace her.

Despite missing out then, she will now be able to compete in the first Olympic women's monobob and the two-woman bobsleigh as expected.

"I'll be leaving tonight, which is the morning for you guys, and headed to another hotel, so I can start the process of getting back into training and getting everything ready to race," she told NBC's Today Show.

"Fortunately I have a lot of friends internationally. They've been sending me notes on the track and doing different things like that.

"I also have tons of video from our coaches, who have 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, watching video and doing whatever I can to stay ready."

Competing for more than medals

Meyers Taylor is not only going out to increase her impressive medal count, having won bronze at Vancouver 2010 as well as silvers at Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018.

She also hopes to teach her son, Nico, a lesson at Beijing 2022.

"This Games has turned out to be one of the most challenging ones I've ever competed in, and I just want to show him that his mother never gave up," she continued on Today.

"Especially at these Games, knowing that everything we've gone through, being in isolation and coming out of it, I just want to show him that you can face obstacles and have challenges and overcome them and go after your goals anyways."

Meyers Taylor has also addressed how important motherhood has been for her in her blog for Olympics.com.

"Some people still think having a son and being a parent is a distraction - but I can honestly say without Nico I would have never made it this far," she said.

"He is my reason for continuing to push in the face of adversity and to continue to go after my goals. He has ignited a new passion for me for bobsleigh and has shown me what true strength is.

"Some people will have me believe that if I don’t medal in these Games in both disciplines then I failed. But to those people - if you only knew what it took to get here - you’d say we’ve already won."

When to watch Elana Meyers Taylor in competition at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022

Meyers Taylor competes in the first Olympic women's monobob on Sunday 13 February at 09:30 Beijing time (17:30 PST on Saturday) with the medals decided the following day.

She starts her bid for a fourth two-woman bob medal on Friday 18 February at 20:00 local time (04:00 PST) with the third and fourth runs getting underway 24 hours later.

MORE: How to watch bobsleigh at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022

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