Elana Meyers Taylor dealing with Achilles' issue at Olympics
By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Elana Meyers Taylor’s final preparations for the women’s bobsled event that starts Tuesday at the Pyeongchang Olympics have not been ideal.
A bad Achilles’ is slowing her down — but not hurting her confidence.
The two-time Olympic medalist, who won a bronze as a brakeman in 2010 and a silver as a pilot in 2014, pronounced herself fit and ready to go after her final two training runs on Monday. Meyers Taylor, a gold-medal favorite, is racing with Olympic rookie Lauren Gibbs in Pyeongchang.
“It’s been a little rough for me, making sure I’m healthy and good to go,” Meyers Taylor said. “I didn’t get to walk in the opening ceremony, didn’t get to do a lot of things, only got out to two events which is a little weird. So it’s not going to be perfect. But I’ve pushed through worse. It’s going to be good. I’ll be fine.”
Meyers Taylor completed all six of the official training runs that were offered over the last three days. In order, she finished those in fourth, seventh, first, second, fourth and fifth place.
On the surface, that doesn’t look great. In reality, Meyers Taylor tends to not always be dominant in training — and thinks it’s a good omen.
“I didn’t have the best runs today, but I’d rather get them out of the way now,” Meyers Taylor said. “I’ve never been a training hero. Thank God they don’t give medals for training.”
There’s a couple past Olympians on her mind right now.
Her friend Steven Holcomb, the USA-1 men’s driver and three-time Olympic medalist who died last May, competed at his final Olympics in 2014 with a strained left Achilles’ — the same one that’s hurting Meyers Taylor now. And the words of former U.S. decathlete Dan O’Brien also are resonating, with him saying that before the 1996 Atlanta Olympics he went in with the mindset that a gold medal would make his career seem complete.
He won that gold 22 years ago. And gold is the only Olympic medal hue that Meyers Taylor doesn’t have yet.
“I’ve done everything I can to prepare for this moment,” Meyers Taylor said. “And I’m going to do everything I can to figure this track out. I’m going to give it all I’ve got and we’ll see what happens.”
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