This Bobsledder Is Breaking Gender Barriers on Her Way to Gold
Pushing limits has always been a part of her life.
Elana Meyers Taylor practices by pushing a 3,500 pound car while her dad sits in the front seat.
It’s probably the heaviest movable thing she can find and it makes the 400-pound bobsled she competes with seem light by comparison.
During the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, this unorthodox training will help her as she competes for her first Olympic gold medal in the two-person women’s bobsled races for the United States team.
Meyers Taylor is known for her intense training regimen, but pushing limits has always been a part of her life.
Growing up, she said she was disparaged for being a tomboy and showing such interest in sports.
“Some of the guys would make of me,” she said in a video profile. “For me it was really more so about trying to figure out how to be athletic as a female in this world.”
As she struggled to be accepted as an athlete, her parents were always champions of her on and off the field.
That’s why Meyers Taylor is an ambassador for the latest installment of Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign, called “Love Over Bias.”
In it, Meyers Taylor’s mom shares how she stood up for her daughter over the years.
Like many of the sports she excelled in growing up, bobsledding is a traditionally male sport and some of the gender barriers in the sport have only recently been removed.
As it turns out, Meyers Taylor is leading the charge in dismantling these barriers.
In 2014, she became the first woman to lead a four-person mixed-gender bobsled team. And while she won’t be competing in that field this year, she plans to train in that area in the years ahead, she told the Washington Post.
She first entered bobsledding a decade ago and has since risen to the top of the sport, winning two golds at world championships and a bronze and silver medal at past Olympic Games.
Throughout the way, she’s been helped out by her husband Nic Taylor who’s an alternate on the US men’s bobsled team.
And while some spouses can’t even share a kitchen together, these two often share a bobsled together.
“We’re actually a ridiculously good team,” Taylor told the Post.
They might compete together in future events. But for now, Taylor is going to help his wife in the time between races — training in the gym, preparing her gear, and encouraging her performance.
Meyers Taylor's story, and the stories of other athletes who overcame different forms of bias, inspired Procter & Gamble’s “Love Over Bias” short film. To discover more, visit LoveOverBias.com and join the conversation using #LoveOverBias.