Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor is auctioning off her Ralph Lauren opening ceremony jacket to benefit a special cause near to her heart.
The three-time Olympic medalist and two-time women’s bobsled world champion announced on Twitter that she would be raising money for the National Down Syndrome Society by auctioning off her one-of-a-kind opening ceremony parka.
Meyers Taylor was elected to be flag bearer for Team USA, but was forced to miss the event after testing positive for COVID-19 four days earlier. She has been quarantining in an isolation hotel in Beijing, with her son Nico and husband Nicholas staying just a few doors down.
Nico was born in February 2020 and soon after was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Raising money for Down syndrome research is personal for the new mom, who brought along Nico under an exception for breastfeeding mothers.
It was not yet known what auction site would host the public sale and when it would be available for bidding. Meyers Taylor wrote on Twitter that she would post details of the auction “soon” on her social media pages.
The star bobsledder won’t be without a special parka of her own. That’s because flag bearers get their own unique jacket, and while Meyers Taylor didn’t get to lead Team USA in the Parade of Nations, she did get to keep her exclusive outfit. Speed skater Brittany Bowe took her place at the ceremony, carrying the American flag with curler John Shuster.
The 37-year-old is hopeful that she’ll be able to compete at the Beijing Games, especially since bobsled doesn’t begin until about a week into the Olympics. Women’s monobob official training begins Feb. 10, with competition beginning Feb. 13. Training for the two-woman event starts Feb. 15, with competition beginning Feb. 18.
Beijing Olympic organizers adopted a “zero COVID” policy and strict testing just to get on flights. After landing, athletes are required to test negative twice in a 24-hour span to be released from isolation.
Meyers remains optimistic and updated fans Thursday that her last COVID-19 test was negative. She also tested negative two days earlier but had a positive test in between. She needs her next COVID test to be negative in order to get back to training.