Buff and Blog: From GW's 2010 Olympian
Feb. 15, 2010
My name is Elana Meyers and I am a 2006 graduate of the George Washington University and currently seeking a master's degree at GW as well in sports management. I played softball for 5 years (yes, 5) at GW and also professionally for the Mid-Michigan Ice. During my stay at GW, I lived in the Madison Hall, the Gut, Ivory Towers, and FSK. I drank Starbucks religiously purchased on my GWorld while studying at Club G, and had a majority of my classes in Building K. I used to run around the monuments for my workouts, and walked around them late at night (only after I was 21 ;)). I've had every possible flavor at Cone E. Island, and I've waited forever for my food at T.G.I. Friday's. I've been stuck in rush hour traffic on the Mt. Vernon shuttle and have fallen asleep in large biology lectures in Funger Hall. I've spent many hours interning in different places throughout DC and I've checked GWeb every minute after finals to see my grades. In many ways, I am just like every single student at GW, we all share the great tradition and experience that comes with a GW education; however, where I differ is what I did after my finishing my bachelor's at GW: I became an Olympian.
Since I was 7 years old my dream was to compete in the Olympics. I never imagined it would be in bobsled! I grew up playing a variety of sports: basketball, track and field, soccer, and my first love- softball. I played softball at GW and played professionally, but once softball was taken out of the Olympics, I had to find another path. I remember watching the Winter Olympics in 2002 and 2006 and my parents mentioning that I should try bobsled, that I was strong and powerful and could do it. I laughed it off- I still had my softball career. Additionally, my friend, Rebecca Schumer, a former soccer and softball player at GW, had gotten an invite to tryout and suggested I do it as well, but of course I was still considering my softball career. Finally, after my softball career ended, I remembered these experiences and decided to give it a try. I sent an email to bobsled coach Bill Tavares, who responded saying there was a combine test (a basic athletic test to see if you could possibly push a bobsled) in two weeks in Lake Placid. At that time, I was in school again and had a GA position, but upon my parents encouragement, I went up to Lake Placid and my whole life changed forever.
I made the team and now I'm an Olympian. Pretty simple story but it's been a lot of hard work. Bobsled is a totally different animal than what you see on tv. The life of a bobsledder is like an ongoing season of "Survivor," lots of drama and action and it's non-stop! It's driven people insane and it will continue to do so. It's crazy!!!
We don't get paid and as a brakeman, you get much of the blame when things go wrong, but rarely any of the glory. Every bobsled athlete competes for one simple reason, we truly love the sport. We deal with the drama and stress all for one goal, to compete in the Olympics- and that's what I'm doing now. So welcome to my blog, an inside peak of what it's like to be me.