Catching Up With Elana Meyers Taylor
Multi-Sport Star Drives On
On an otherwise quiet summer day in Foggy Bottom, it came as no surprise to anyone that knows her tireless drive that Elana Meyers Taylor ('07) wasn't going to use a quick trip in and out of the District as an excuse to miss a workout. Rather, using GW Athletics' facilities and lifting weights so big that they could conceal the pitchers mound that she once called home at GW, Meyers Taylor was acting as if the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea were in three and a half months rather than in three and a half years.
"I'm training full force," she sad. "I've been in Phoenix, Arizona, training with my coach and one of my teammates - and with the gold medalist who beat me out in Sochi, Kaillie Humphries."
When asked about how long the Sochi limelight would last, Meyers Taylor was pragmatic. "Nobody really cares about the last Olympics after about six months; that's what everybody says. We're at that point where the hype is winding down and now we're focused on 2018. The appearance requests are less and less which is good because it gives us a chance to look forward to what's ahead."
Still, with a bronze medal in 2010 and a silver in 2014, the lure of winning gold is never off the mind of this former GW softball star and Hall of Famer who is now one of U.S. Bobsled's all-time greats.
"I think back to Sochi a lot," she said. "I've put it in the memory bank and know that I have what it takes to be able to compete at that level. Having that experience now of being in the highest-pressure situation, and competing in those situations, now I'm working on my preparation. How do I handle myself day in and day out with all of the adversity that comes with it?"
Thinking about where she's been and where she needs to go, Meyers Taylor continues to rattle off a series of questions that the next three and a half years will answer. "What am I going to do better next time? How am I going to improve? What went well? What went wrong? Now we have a new coaching staff so I'm looking forward to working with them," she said with infectious excitement.
Her quest not quite complete, but already extremely rewarding, to hear Meyers Taylor's tales and see her relentless work ethic leaves no doubt that she'll step on the track in South Korea in 2018 as a better athlete both in mind and body than ever before.
Of championship competition, Meyers Taylor was philosophical and introspective. "It's naïve to think of it as just another competition, or just another tournament, because it's not, but at the same time, you're living your dream. You made it. You're there, and the worst-case scenario is that you reached one of your dreams and got there. Now it's time to live in the moment."
As she related her own experience on one of sports' biggest stages to what current GW student-athletes strive for in their programs' quest to test themselves among the nation's best in NCAA Championship competition, Meyers Taylor sounded like the seasoned vet she is.
So what's next for Meyers Taylor? A nation hopes she'll Raise High the Gold.
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