Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor to make up for lost opportunity as Team USA flag bearer

After being elected the female flag bearer for the United States team at the Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony, Meyers Taylor could not march because she was in an isolation hotel after testing positive for COVID-19. Now she has the chance to carry the Stars & Striples for the Closing Ceremony.

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2022 Beijing Olympics - Bobsleigh - 2-woman Heat 1 - National Sliding Centre, Beijing, China - February 18, 2022. Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States and Sylvia Hoffman of the United States in action. REUTERS/Edgar Su
2022 Beijing Olympics - Bobsleigh - 2-woman Heat 1 - National Sliding Centre, Beijing, China - February 18, 2022. Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States and Sylvia Hoffman of the United States in action. REUTERS/Edgar Su

BEIJING — Elana Meyers Taylor will carry the American flag into the Bird’s Nest after all.

Meyers Taylor, the four-time Olympic bobsledder, was elected Team USA flag bearer for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games Closing Ceremony on Sunday night.

She was previously elected one of the two flag bearers for the Opening Ceremony, but was not able to march because she had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in an isolation hotel. Three-time Olympic speed skater Brittany Bowe carried the flag on behalf of Meyers Taylor while curling skip John Shuster, a five-time Olympian, was the other flag bearer.

Both votes were by members of Team USA.

“I was so honored to be named the Opening Ceremony flag bearer, but after not being able to carry the flag, it’s even more humbling to lead the United States at the Closing Ceremony,” Meyers Taylor said in a statement. “Congratulations to my fellow Team USA athletes on all their success in Beijing – I’m looking forward to carrying the flag with my teammates by my side and closing out these Games.”

Meyers Taylor isn’t finished yet with competition. She is competing in two-woman bobsled at Yanqing National Sliding Center Friday and Saturday.

Meyers Taylor has already won the silver medal in the Olympic debut of women’s monobob on Feb. 14 behind teammate Kaillie Humphries. That was her fourth Olympic medal. She previously won silver medals in two-woman bobsled in PyeongChang 2018 and Sochi 2014 as well as a bronze medal at Vancouver 2010.

2022 Beijing Olympics - Opening Ceremony - National Stadium, Beijing, China - February 4, 2022. Flag bearers Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States and John Shuster of the United States lead their contingent during the athletes parade at the opening ceremony. REUTERS/David W Cerny     SEARCH "OLYMPICS DAY 1" FOR BEIJING 2022 WINTER OLYMPICS EDITOR'S CHOICE, SEARCH "REUTERS OLYMPICS TOPIX" FOR ALL EDITOR'S CHOICE PICTURES.   TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY    REFILE - CORRECTING INFORMATION
2022 Beijing Olympics - Opening Ceremony - National Stadium, Beijing, China - February 4, 2022. Flag bearers Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States and John Shuster of the United States lead their contingent during the athletes parade at the opening ceremony. REUTERS/David W Cerny SEARCH "OLYMPICS DAY 1" FOR BEIJING 2022 WINTER OLYMPICS EDITOR'S CHOICE, SEARCH "REUTERS OLYMPICS TOPIX" FOR ALL EDITOR'S CHOICE PICTURES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY REFILE - CORRECTING INFORMATION

Meyers Taylor is the first female bobsled athlete to serve as Closing Ceremony flag bearer for Team USA and the first bobsled athlete since Brian Shimer in 2002.

Kate Hartman, spokesperson for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, tells Around the Rings that the official record will still say that Bowe marched on behalf of Meyers Taylor at the Opening Ceremony.

Meyers Taylor is the second American athlete to have the double honor.

At the 1948 St. Moritz Games, Jack Heaton was elected flag bearer at both the Opening and Closing Ceremony. Heaton won two skeleton silver medals in 1928 and 1948 and a bobsled bronze medal in 1932.