After defeating a bout of covid 19 and winning her 5th medal, Elena Meyers Taylor has officially become the most decorated Black athlete in the nearly 100-year history of the Winter Olympics. The 37-year-old Olympian is one of the most accomplished women in bobsled history and her success has opened doors in particular for Black women to shoot through. She is also regarded as the oldest American woman to win a winter Olympics medal.
Over her distinguished career, Elena Meyers Taylor has garnered five Olympic medals across four Olympic games.
Elena Meyers Taylor
She won bronze in Vancouver (2010), silver in Sochi (2014), silver in Pyeongchang (2018), and then silver and bronze this year in Beijing. However, her fifth medal elevated her over American speedskater Shani Davis; the first African American athlete to win a gold medal in an individual Winter Olympics event.
“That is overwhelming,” “It’s so crazy to hear that stat and to know that I’m part of a legacy that’s bigger than me.” the elated Olympian said.
Her legacy is opening doors for Black women in the sport and also helping to transform the definition of what a traditional bobsled athlete looks like. According to the NY Times, there are seven Black women on the eight-woman U.S. World Cup bobsled team and four of the five women who competed in bobsledding in Beijing are Black.
Twenty years after women’s bobsled was added to the Olympic Games and Vonetta Flowers’ historic victory; Black women now make up a majority of Team USA’s Olympic bobsled team.
And leading the way is Elana Meyers Taylor, a decorated and history-making Olympian, U.S. Olympic flag bearer and inspiration.
However, ESPN has reported that she may be considering retirement following this ground-breaking victory. “I’m going to take some time and really think about this. It’s going to be really hard to top this Olympics. Two medals and now closing it out with flagbearer, it’s going to be really hard to top that,” said Meyers Taylor told ESPN.