President Joe Biden appointed alumna Elana Meyers Taylor late last month to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, where she will help advise White House officials to support nutrition and exercise in the country, according to a White House release.
The release states Meyers Taylor – a five-time Olympic bobsled medalist in silver and bronze and the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics history – will work alongside 26 other newly appointed members consisting of current and former professional athletes, sports physicians and nutritionists to encourage accessibility in athletics and promote youth participation in sports. Biden issued an executive order to reinstate the council in 2021 until September 2023 after the White House office went inactive during the second half of former President Donald Trump’s term in office.
Other individuals named to the council include physician Maribel Campos Rivera, whose research focuses on community action projects to encourage healthy habits for children, superstar NBA point guard Stephen Curry and his wife, renowned chef Ayesha Curry. Biden appointed famed Spanish Chef José Andrés, who has previously taught at GW and owns on-campus restaurant Beefsteak, and WNBA star Elena Delle Donne to serve as co-chairs of the council.
Meyers Taylor played on the softball team during her time at GW and won team MVP every season as a dual threat on the hill and at the plate. She studied exercise science and sports management as an undergraduate before graduating in 2007.
GW selected Meyers Taylor last year as the 2022 commencement speaker, and she delivered remarks on the National Mall before the first class to gather for a spring in-person graduation ceremony in three years due to COVID-19. She also received a Master of Tourism Administration from GW in 2011 and an honorary Doctorate of Public Service in 2018.
Meyers Taylor was GW’s first recruited softball athlete, and she graduated leading the Colonials in nearly every offensive category, starting all 52 games of her senior season. As an Olympics hopeful in 2007, she tried out for the USA Softball Team but did not make the squad.
Her career in bobsledding began in 2007 with a visit to Lake Placid, New York, the home of the U.S National Bobsled Team, a year after she graduated from GW.
In 2015, she made history as the first woman to acquire a position on the U.S. National Team, joining a four-man bobsled as a pilot.
Meyers Taylor has worked to promote equality in women’s sports with the Women’s Sports Foundation, and she served as the president of the foundation in 2019, traveling the United States speaking with other female athletes and promoting gender equality in athletics.
Meyers Taylor was elected last August to be an athlete representative on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and serves on the Georgia Council for Developmental Disabilities, which works to facilitate inclusive environments to those with developmental disabilities.
This article appeared in the April 3, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.