With Grit and Resilience, Inspiring a New Generation
This weekend, I will compete in my fourth Olympic Winter Games representing Team USA in Bobsled – the culmination of an incredible journey that began in February 2002, when I watched Vonetta Flowers win gold in bobsled. I was a teenager, and that moment wasn’t just inspirational for me – it was life changing.
At that time, I never would have imagined I’d be part of Team USA as an Olympic bobsledder. My lifelong dreams of competing as a softball player at the Olympic Games had not worked out the way I’d hoped, and I wasn’t sure what path lay ahead. But as I watched Vonetta, I saw some of myself reflected back at me. I saw a strong woman, a Black woman, who grew up along the same stretch of highway in the South that I did, standing on the podium with an Olympic gold medal around her neck. In that moment, Vonetta became the first African American and the first Black athlete ever to win a gold medal at The Winter Olympics. Because she did it, I could do it. The dream was real – and it could happen to me.
That’s the power of inspiration: when the idea of achieving extraordinary things can in fact become a reality. It plants a seed in your mind that anything is possible and gives strength to endure whatever challenges come ahead. Whether those challenges are changing careers, overcoming injuries, or meeting my child’s special needs, I’ve always known that it was important – with focus, grit, and resilience – to persevere. And that with hard work, dedication, and commitment, what may seem impossible is possible – and made even sweeter because of all that was overcome to get there.
I’m honored to help inspire future generations of athletes, medalists, moms, and dreamers – and ignite a sense of possibility for the Team of Tomorrow.
These Olympic Winter Games are our moment – all of our moment. When I take to the starting block, I do it for so many – it’s for 17-year-old me watching the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake City 2002 and deciding I would one day realize my Olympic dream no matter what it took; it’s for my son who inspires me above all else; it’s for all the young Black girls watching someone who looks like them; and it’s for everyone who is building a future I can’t wait to see.
As I race down the track I know: If you can dream it, you can do it. I’m excited for what lies ahead – but I’m even more excited to see what futures lie ahead for our next generation.
Elana Meyers Taylor, a four-time U.S. Olympian and five-time U.S. Olympic medalist in bobsled, is the most decorated Black athlete in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. She married fellow elite bobsledder Nic Taylor in 2014, and the two welcomed their first child, Nico, in February of 2020.
Learn more about how we’re supporting Team USA and bringing their stories of inspiration home to millions of Americans.