A Special Homecoming
March 11, 2010
Before February, Elana Meyers's favorite athletic moment was hitting the game-winning grand slam which sent the George Washington women's softball team to its first Atlantic 10 tournament. But that was before she competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and before she earned a bronze medal for women's bobsled. So, how do those two moments compare now?
"Winning the Olympic medal definitely takes the cake," says Ms. Meyers, B.A. '06. "But playing college softball was great experience."
Although she is now fully immersed in the chaos that comes with being an Olympic medalist-including media interviews, appearances and travel-Ms. Meyers took some time to return to her old pitching grounds on GW's Mount Vernon Campus March 9 for a special segment with MSNBC correspondent Luke Russert.
Ms. Meyers played catcher as Mr. Russert attempted to make contact off of one of 10 pitches from Olympic softball pitcher Jennie Finch, a two-time medalist, to win $1,000 for charity. Ms. Finch emerged victorious and won the money for the organization 'nPLAY, which combats child obesity.
Following the contest, Ms. Finch and Ms. Meyers met with the GW women's softball team and signed softballs.
Ms. Meyers admitted she herself struck out the last time she attempted to hit off Ms. Finch, but says the return to GW's Mount Vernon Campus was a special homecoming for her.
"It's pretty cool to be able to come back and participate in an event on the field I played on for five years," she says. "I spent so many hours here training and helping the team win games and I even threw the first pitch on this field, so it's pretty amazing to be back."
Though Ms. Meyers is now focused on bobsledding and will begin training for the 2014 Winter Olympics this month in Park City, Utah, she says softball will always be her favorite sport. "I definitely will always love softball; I still follow GW's team and keep in touch with some of my teammates," says Ms. Meyers. "I would like to play again someday, so we will see. But I love the game and always will."
Once the media blitz subsides, Ms. Meyers says she will return to her normal routine, which includes bobsled conditioning as well as her side jobs as a personal trainer and a pitching and hitting coach for young softball players. Ms. Meyers also dedicates a good portion of her time to finding sponsors and endorsements to help support her team and her quest for another Olympic medal.
When asked how she felt when she learned she won a bronze, Ms. Meyers says she has yet to completely wrap her head around it. "I can't imagine being happier athletically than I was in that moment. I was in complete shock," she says. "When I think about all the years and blood, sweat and tears that went into it and that I was actually able to accomplish it--it's emotional and surreal. There are times I still don't really believe it happened."