Douglas County and Douglasville welcomed their 30-year-old Olympic heroine back to her roots in a special ceremony.
As Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons handed her the key to the city and other gifts, he said Meyers had again put Douglasville and Douglas County on the world map as she did four years ago winning the bronze medal for the U.S. in women’s bobsled.
“However, this year when she placed us on the map, it was done with a silver lining, an Olympic silver medal lining,” he said.
“Elana has earned the respect and admiration of her nation for her tremendous performance in the women’s bobsled event in Russia this year,” Persons said.
“Not only has she proudly represented the United States in Olympic competition but her hometown as well,” Persons said as he read a city proclamation which proclaimed Feb. 25 as “Elana Meyers Day.”
Reading from the proclamation, Persons said the Canadian-U.S. dual in women’s bobsled competition captured the attention of the world.
In the gold medal round, Canada squeaked by Meyers and her teammate, Lauryn Williams, taking the gold medal in a time of 3 minutes, 50.61 seconds with the U.S. team finishing in 3:50.71, a tenth-of-a-second difference.
Meyers said she had wanted to be an Olympian representing the U.S. since she was nine years old.
Playing in local city and county girl’s softball leagues in Hunter Park and other Douglas County recreation leagues, Meyers dreamed of Olympic stardom on the softball field. She honed her skills in the sport as a star at Lithia Springs High School and George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
However, when the International Olympic Committee decided to drop softball and baseball as summer Olympic sports starting with the 2016 Games, Meyers turned her disappointment into triumph as she took up the sport of women’s bobsledding after watching it on television.
“I thought I’d give it a try and fell in love with the sport,” she said, explaining that her fiancé is a former Olympic bobsled competitor.
However, Meyers said her dreams of Olympic competition could not have been achieved without the great support of her family and her fellow Douglas County friends and residents.
“My family has always been there for me and many of you in the audience tonight have seen me grow up playing in our recreation leagues,” she said to the cheering crowd at Arbor Place Mall.
Meyers captured an Olympic bronze medal in women’s bobsled in 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
Now, with bronze and silver medals around Meyer’s neck, Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan said a gold medal in the 2018 winter Olympics is needed to round out Meyer’s accomplishments in women’s bobsled.
“Elana has already got that in sight and has already begun training for it,” Worthan said.