(NEW YORK) — Three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor revealed that she tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday after arriving in Beijing ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Taylor said on Tuesday she is staying at an isolation hotel away from her husband, fellow Olympic bobsledder Nic Taylor, and their one-year-old son, Nico, who traveled with her to the games.
The decorated athlete, who has won a medal at each game, is now racing against time to overcome the illness and test negative before the bobsledding events begin on February 13.
“This is just the latest obstacle that my family and I have faced on this journey,” the 37-year-old athlete wrote in a social media post. “So I’m remaining optimistic that I’ll be able to recover quickly and still have the opportunity to compete.”
In addition to being a top contender for the U.S. women’s bobsledding team, Taylor is hoping to vie for the gold in the women’s monobob event, one of seven sports making its debut in Beijing.
She has been training intensively around the clock over the past several years for what may be her final time at the Olympics.
“Every day, it feels like I’m on my feet from sunup to sundown,” she said in an interview with “Good Morning America” before her trip to Beijing.
Getting to the Olympics as a new mom
Training for the Olympics for the very first time as a new mom amid a global pandemic brought a new set of challenges.
Ahead of Beijing, Taylor said her one-year-old son, Nico, whom she welcomed in 2020, was her ultimate inspiration. After giving birth to Nico, Taylor said she faced severe back pain and found it difficult at times to maintain a steady workout plan with most gyms closed down in the early days of the pandemic. However, having Nico motivated her to continue on her Olympic career on the women’s bobsledding team and to train for the monobob event.
“After my 2018 games, I was very happy with my performance and wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue bobsledding,” she said. “But after I had him, I knew I wanted to continue and show that it’s possible to overcome any adversity and continue pursuing your goals.”
She also credits her credits her husband, Nic, for his support on their shared journey.
“None of this would be possible without him and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner, both on and off the ice, and a better father to my son,” Taylor said about her husband, who is also a bobsledder and an Olympic alternate for the U.S. men’s team.
In addition to maintaining her own intense bobsled training, Taylor said that a lot of planning was done with her son’s doctors to ensure he could accompany the family to Beijing. Nico was born with Down syndrome and has profound bilateral hearing loss that’s now aided by cochlear implants. Taylor worked closely with Nico’s doctors to ensure the toddler was medically-stable to travel to Beijing and could receive speech, physical and hearing therapies during her competition.
“It’s really been a balancing act of trying to make sure we’re giving him what he needs because at the end of the day, I love the bobsled, I love what I do, but he’s going to come first in every sense of the way,” she told “Good Morning America.”
Taylor has also become a proud advocate for families of children with special needs.
“Yes, there are hard days, and yes, it’s not always easy. But there’s also so many highs. We live a life that has so much joy and we wouldn’t trade our son for anyone in the world,” she said. “And and we’ve been able to do some incredible things.”
“We just want to encourage people out there that if you get a diagnosis before, during pregnancy or after pregnancy, like it’s going to be OK and you will still live a very happy and joyful life, regardless of what diagnosis they have….A diagnosis is just that. It’s a medical diagnosis. It doesn’t tell you who your kid is,” she added.
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