Atlanta athlete wins most Olympic medals as Black woman
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — As part of the CBS46 Black History Month series, CBS46 spoke to World Champion bobsledder and Douglasville native Elana Meyers Taylor about her victorious trip to the 2022 Winter Olympics.
CBS46′s Tori Cooper had a chance to interview Taylor while she was at the Ryan Cameron Show Monday afternoon.
“I lived in Douglasville most of my life. If you live in Atlanta you know who Ryan Cameron is,” Elana Taylor said.
“I’m about to cry, I’m so happy to have you here,” Ryan Cameron said.
Taylor slid back into Metro Atlanta Monday to talk with Georgia Hall of Fame Atlanta Radio Show host Ryan Cameron about what it takes to defeat the odds as a black woman chasing gold.
Cameron invited CBS46 News to sit in on the interview and as Taylor some questions as well.
“Can we talk about that black girl magic,” Cameron asked Taylor.
“Of course, we can,” Taylor said.
Taylor, had a love for softball growing up in Douglasville Georgia and at the age of nine-years-old she set her eyes on becoming an Olympian.
“Being a black girl playing softball growing up there wasn’t a lot of representation. You know every once in a while, you had a high-profile black athlete playing softball. So I was really out there finding my way, making it happen because there weren’t a lot of people that looked like me,” Taylor said.
The strong steady pitcher and short stop landed a softball scholarship to George Washington University where she was eventually inducted into the GW Hall of Fame.
She went on to play professionally but her next pitch, in front national team scouts, was not exactly a strike.
“It didn’t work out on the national team level, so I still had this dream, I had this passion that I wanted to make it at the Olympic level and I found bobsled and actually found it through Vonetta Flowers, who was the first African American to win a Winter Olympic gold medal,” Taylor said.
The softball sensation also turned out to be an incredibly powerful bobsledding brakeman.
Less than three years into her bobsledding journey, she finally achieved her dream of standing on an Olympic podium after winning the bronze medal in Vancouver.
“I thought that would really be the end of my career, I was like alright I won an Olympic medal I don’t need to do anything else with my life.”
The champion living inside her was still stuck to the ice.
She returned back to the Olympics multiple years in a row with her U.S. bobsledding team.
“Hopefully it paves a new way for more and more people of color to get involved in winter sport.”
However, this year’s trip to the 2022 Winter Olympics threw the 37-year-old mother a different kind of curve ball once she landed in Beijing.
“Catching COVID-19 it was just a nightmare from that standpoint. We didn’t know if I was going to be able to compete.”
That didn’t stop Taylor from winning another spot at the podium.
She took home the silver in the mono bob and the bronze in the two-woman bobsled.
In total she now holds five Olympic medals, three silvers and two bronze.
“There’s a lot of hurdles to overcome but it made winning these medals that much sweeter.” Taylor said.
Taylor’s latest victories mean she is now the most decorated black athlete in history and the most decorated Olympic female bobsledder of all-time.
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