YANQING, China — Elana Meyers Taylor’s vision of the Beijing Olympics and the Olympics taking place has only a distant relationship between them. She was gliding Saturday morning, driving her bobsled at breakneck speeds on a track here. This part fits. Nothing else does.
“I had every intention of coming here and doing this with my family,” Meyers Taylor said after his final practice run at Yanqing Sliding Center. “I did everything with my family. Every race, everything, everything has been a family affair.
“And now to have this shock of all of a sudden being at the Olympics and not being able to spend time with them, that’s something I didn’t plan for. We planned for all kinds of worst-case scenarios. at the Games, but that’s something I didn’t see coming.
The coronavirus may be waning in most parts of the world, but it’s still, undeniably, the second consecutive Covid Olympics. Anyone in China with any affiliation with the Games realizes this. The bubble is real, and the bubble can be suffocating. This is life: hotel, throat swab, bus, meeting place, bus, hotel. The Olympic Games as a cultural exchange are a notion of the past and the future. Maybe one day. Not now.
Meyers Taylor is Team USA’s reminder of it all. This is her fourth Olympic Games and she is aiming for her fourth medal, her first gold medal. But on January 29, two days after arriving in China, she tested positive for the coronavirus. Just like her husband, Nic Taylor, replacement for the American men’s bobsleigh team. His son Nico, almost 2 years old, did the same. His father, Eddie Meyers, was allowed to make the trip to help with Nico.