Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor auctioned off her Team USA opening ceremony jacket to benefit a special cause near to her heart.
The one-of-a-kind Ralph Lauren parka sold on eBay for $5,001. The funds will benefit the National Down Syndrome Society.
The four-time Olympic medalist and two-time women's bobsled world champion is the mother of a son with Down syndrome and profound hearing loss. Nico was born in February 2020 and traveled with her to Beijing under an exception for breastfeeding mothers.
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The Olympics experience has been tough on the new mom, especially after Meyers Taylor tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving for the 2022 Winter Games and was forced to quarantine alone in an isolation hotel, with her husband Nic and Nico staying just a few doors down.
It was the first time Meyers Taylor was away from her son since he was born.
“My son was taken away from me, so to spend an extended amount of time away from my son, that was the hardest part. Away from my family, that was the hardest part,” Meyers Taylor said. “This entire journey has been a family mission the entire time. So now to be away from them at the most critical time, when I needed their support the most, it’s been really difficult.”
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
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Still, Nico has been remarkably resilient, she said, noting that he’s handled things better than probably she even has. It also helps that her husband, Nic, is on the men’s national team as a push athlete and was named as an alternate on the men’s Olympic bobsled team.
The star bobsledder won't be without a special parka of her own. That's because Meyers Taylor was elected to be flag bearer for Team USA in the opening ceremony and got her own unique jacket to lead the Americans in the Parade of Nations. While she was forced to miss the event due to her positive COVID-19 test, she did get to keep her exclusive gear.
And she'll need it. Meyers Taylor was chosen to serve as Team USA's flag bearer for the closing ceremony. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced the decision earlier Friday and revealed an emotional video of the moment Meyers Taylor received the news.
Meyers Taylor is also leaving Beijing with her fourth Olympic medal, more than any bobsledder in U.S. history, with a chance at one more this weekend.
You can watch the closing ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 7 a.m. ET, or catch it on during prime time coverage at 8 p.m. ET.