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Meyers Taylor and Hoffman take bronze in two-woman bobsled Olympic race
Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman celebrate after crossing the finish line in third.
Photo credit: Getty Images
YANQING, China (February 19, 2022) –Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) and Sylvia Hoffman (Arlington, Texas) secured the bronze medal tonight in the two-woman bobsled Olympic competition at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre. Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Kaysha Love (Herriman, Utah) had a solid two days of racing and finished seventh.
“I’ve been on Olympic podiums before but I can’t think of any that’s been harder to get than here,” Meyers Taylor said. “So it’s just been incredible and I can’t even put into words what this means.”
“It was like emotions everywhere and I didn’t know which one to pick,” Hoffman said.
The color of the medal may be bronze, but Meyers Taylor’s accomplishments are golden. The list of historic moments attached to her resume is impressive.
She tied speed skater Shani Davis as the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Games history when she won her fourth Olympic medal in the inaugural monobob event five days ago. Meyers Taylor broke that tie tonight by winning her fifth Olympic medal.
“That is overwhelming,” Meyers Taylor said. “It’s so crazy to hear that stat and know I’m part of a legacy that’s bigger than me.”
She’s the first women’s bobsledder to win two medals in a single Olympics thanks to the addition of monobob.
She is the fifth U.S. bobsledder to win two medals in a single Olympics. The four before her are Steven Holcomb, Steve Langton, Stan Benham and Pat Martin.
She’s five-for-five, having medaled in every Olympic event she’s entered. Meyers Taylor was the only woman to win three Olympic bobsled medals for the U.S. going into these games. She’s now raised the bar to five.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced last night that Meyers Taylor had been elected by fellow members of Team USA to lead the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team as flag bearer into tomorrow’s Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. The last bobsledder to have that honor was Brian Shimer, who earned the four-man bobsled bronze medal in 2002 and has since coached the U.S. team.
“I can’t say enough about Elana,” Shimer said. “It’s not just how she performs on the ice, but who she is as a person. It brings me back to my own career, when I won the bronze medal in 2002 and carried the flag in Closing Ceremony. I’m reliving that moment, and feel like this is how it was supposed to end. The memories we’ve had over her career, medal or no medal, are really special and something I’ll treasure forever. I feel honored to be a part of her story.”
Shimer said that the person responsible for helping Meyers Taylor return to the ice as a mom is her husband, Nic Taylor.
“He is the MVP,” Shimer said “It would have never been possible without Nic. He’s been with her every step of the way.”
Meyers Taylor and Hoffman didn’t leave anything on the start line today, bursting off the block for another record setting push time of 5.30 seconds in the third heat to break their own record of 5.33 seconds. Meyers Taylor navigated the sled to the finish in 1:01.13 to maintain third position going into the finale. The American duo powered off the block in 5.35 seconds for a final run of 1:01.56, and secured the bronze medal with a combined time of 4:05.48.
Germany’s Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi extended their overnight lead from half a second to 0.78 seconds with a track record run of 1:00.70 in the third heat. They posted the second-best time of 1:01.21 in the finale, and took the Olympic title with a total time of 4:03.96.
Mariama Jamanka and Alexandra Burghardt held onto second place for Germany, inching an extra 0.15 seconds ahead of Meyers Taylor and Hoffman in the third heat. Jamanka and Burghardt clocked the fastest downtime of the final heat to establish themselves as the silver medalists with a four-run combined time of 4:04.73.
Humphries and Love posted the third fastest start time of 5.39 seconds in the third heat for a downtime of 1:01.75 to move the pair into sixth position. The duo pushed off the block in 5.45 for the eighth ranked run of 1:01.91. They finished seventh with a cumulative time of 4:07.04.
“Kaysha and I gave it everything we had, physically and mentally,” Humphries said. “Kaysha did such an amazing job for her first games. I think we pushed our butts off. I didn’t have the drives. Equipment wasn’t the right choice. There was a combination of things. I didn’t drive perfectly. We went into it and it just wasn’t there. But at the end of the day we faced it with as much strength and courage as we could. It sucks. I hoped for more. We have all the right pieces, it just didn’t come together. But I wasn’t afraid to put it all out there and I know Kaysha wasn’t either, and we did it together as a team.”
After yesterday’s first two heats, Humphries committed to fighting all the way to the end.
“The biggest thing for the both of us is being able to end not only today but tomorrow knowing we put it out on the table,” Humphries said yesterday. “We did everything we could.”
“It wasn’t the result we wanted and I think we both know we could have potentially done a whole lot better, and going into this we had expectations to do better than we did, so this is just adding fuel to that fire,” Love said. “Now we’re going to put more pieces together. We can rest and we can start working on the things necessary to move forward and prepare for a better quad.”
Humphries strained her calf muscle before the first heat yesterday.
“I mean, it hurts, I won’t lie,” Humphries said “Definitely gave every ounce of everything I had the last two days and it wasn’t there. I’m proud of the work we put in and what we put into it.
“At the end of the day my body just gave up, my calf did anyways, and I think my mind a little bit too. I just hit a wall and didn’t have it in these last couple days.”
Humphries and Meyers Taylor are uncertain about what the future holds. Humphries said she won’t compete for the entire upcoming quad, and Meyers Taylor isn’t sure she can top her experience at the 2022 Olympics.
“It’s going to be hard to top this Olympics,” Meyers Taylor said. “Two medals and now closing it out with flag bearer, it’s going to be really hard to top that. This won’t be my last time in the sled, but it might be my last Olympic competition. And if it was, I had a hell of a ride. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Racing continues tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. local time tomorrow with the four-man bobsled finale, which can be viewed Live on NBC and streamed on Peacock Premium. The games can be viewed with a cable subscription on NBC, USA Network, and CNBC. NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports app will live stream a Winter Olympics record 2,100+ hours of live event competition during the Beijing Olympics. For more information on how to view, please go to NBCOlympics.com.
For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi (GER) 4:03.96 (1:01.04, 1:01.01, 1:00.70, 1:01.21);
2. Mariama Jamanka and Alexandra Burghardt (GER) 4:04.73 (1:01.10, 1:01.45, 1:00.98, 1:01.20);
3. Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman (USA) 4:05.48 (1:01.26, 1:01.53, 1:01.13, 1:01.56);
7. Kaillie Humphries and Kaysha Love (USA) 4:07.04 (1:01.41, 1:01.97, 1:01.75, 1:01.91)
About USA Bobsled/Skeleton
USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com. Individuals interested in becoming a bobsled or skeleton athlete can visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.