COVID sidelines Olympic flag bearer Elana Meyers-Taylor

BEIJING —  In a statement by Team USA, it was announced this morning that four-time Olympic bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor and five-time Olympic curler John Shuster have been chosen by a vote of fellow Team USA athletes to be the flag bearers for Team USA at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Three-time Olympian Brittany Bowe, the first runner-up in the flag bearer election, will walk on behalf of Meyers Taylor, who recently shared she tested positive for COVID–19 and is unable to attend the Opening Ceremony.

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A post shared by Elana Meyers Taylor OLY (@elanameyerstaylor)

“Being voted by my peers as the flag bearer is the biggest honor of my career,” said Meyers Taylor to Team USA, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, and one-time bronze medalist. “While I cannot carry the flag and walk in with the rest of Team USA, Brittany is very deserving of the opportunity to lead our delegation on my behalf. She is an incredible person with an exemplary character, and I’m excited to watch her and John lead Team USA at the Opening Ceremony. I’m honored to be a part of this team and coming from a military family, it’s really special to have been chosen to carry our flag.”

Bowe, a 2018 Olympic bronze medalist, received the second most votes of her peers and will join Shuster in leading Team USA into the stadium at the Opening Ceremony, which serves as the official start to the Games.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead Team USA into the Opening Ceremony,” said Bowe to Team USA. “Taking on this responsibility is the honor of a lifetime, and I will proudly carry the American flag on behalf of Elana, her family, and all of Team USA.”

Meyers-Taylor is the first bobsled athlete to earn the honors since Jim Bickford, Jr., in 1956. She has inspired young Park City female athletes at the Utah Olympic Park, racing with the men when there was no women’s class. Meyers-Taylor and her bobsledding husband are the proud parents of a toddler son who has special needs and often travels with them to competitions.

Bowe spends much of her time training and competing at the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City. She personified the Olympic Spirit last month by giving up one of her earned race spots so that her teammate could attend the Games.

The Opening Ceremony will be held Friday, Feb. 4 at National Stadium, with more than 150 athletes on the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team.

The Beijing 2022 Bobsled track. The circle in the foreground is the roof of the track.
The Beijing 2022 Bobsled track. The circle in the foreground is the roof of the track. Photo: Michele Roepke

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