Just a few months removed from winning her second Olympic medal, GW Softball alumna Elana Meyers Taylor ('07) was the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremonies for Georgia State University and DeVry University.
"Being Asked to deliver a commencement speech is a huge honor," said Meyers Taylor. "I have the privilege of congratulating people who have completed a huge goal. It's an honor to be able to speak to them about what I've experienced and wish them well and also see their excitement as they start the next phase of their lives."
At Georgia State on May 10, the Douglasville, Georgia, native encouraged the graduates to take risks, follow their dreams and enjoy the journey.
"I told them to believe in themselves and lean on the great support around them," she said.
Meyers Taylor, who holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science and a master's degree in sports management, both from GW, is currently pursuing her MBA in finance from DeVry University's Keller Graduate School of Management.
On Friday at DeVry's Bay Area graduation in Hayward, California, she spoke to the importance of perseverance and determination, alluding to her own losses as well as current events.
"I spoke about 'winning through losing' and referenced the U.S. men's soccer team's loss to Germany (on Thursday in the World Cup) but advancing to the second round," she said. "I also told of my losses in life that have led to my greater successes - sometimes you have to lose so you can win. Finally, I tried to encourage them to take their losses and rebound and grow."
A two-time Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team selection and five-time team MVP, Meyers Taylor was the GW softball program's first-ever recruit and graduated in 2007 as the Colonials' all-time record holder in nearly every offensive category; many of those marks still stand today.
After softball was dropped from the Olympic program, Meyers Taylor switched her attention to bobsled and quickly became one of the best bobsled athletes in the world, winning bronze at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver before earning silver in Sochi in February.
Earlier this year, Meyers Taylor became the first GW softball player enshrined in the GW Athletic Hall of Fame, and on April 27, she became the first-ever Colonial in any sport to have her jersey retired.
Meyers Taylor is currently training with the U.S. rugby team in preparation for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.