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Golden Girl

Olympic bobsledder Elana Meyers steers her way to Sochi.

Meyers' Hots: BMW bobsleds; eggnog almond milk; red velvet cake; reading books and not tablets; rooting for Team USA
Meyers' Nots: Trying to pass things through airport security that don’t belong (water, liquids over 4 ounces, etc.); cutting in line; peanut butter; couch potatoes; texting while driving

When Elana Meyers tried out for her first bobsledding competition, she didn’t even own a winter coat. After all, growing up in Douglasville, just south of Atlanta, she seldom needed one, or had much opportunity for sledding. So how did this polite Southerner end up in the driver’s seat of Team USA’s No. 1 bobsled for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia?

Turns out, “It doesn’t require snow,” says Meyers, 29, who won the bronze medal in the Vancouver games. “It’s on concrete overlaid with ice from a refrigeration system.” But it did require Meyers to switch gears. The daughter of former Falcons running back Eddie Meyers started in softball, but when that sport was cut from the Olympic roster, she looked around for another path to the games and found a seriously fast track in bobsledding. In fact, she logged a combined two-run time of 1 minute, 57.21 seconds during the selection process for Sochi. “It’s a lot like race-car driving,” she says of the sport. “You’re getting this 400-pound sled to go as fast as possible without crashing.”

This year, the bronze medalist will once again test her mettle against the world’s best in order to upgrade to gold—to complement the new ring she’s sporting, having recently gotten engaged to fellow U.S. bobsled team member, Nic Taylor.

“We’re trying to figure out what we’ll do after the Olympics,” Meyers says, “but we’ll probably settle in Atlanta or somewhere in Georgia. I don’t like cold weather.”