American bobsleigh pilot Elana Meyers Taylor says she will do all she can in the push to get the four-woman event onto the Winter Olympic program.
At present, the two-woman is the only bobsleigh opportunity for female athletes on the Games program – with the men competing in the both the two and four man.
Meyers Taylor is already a double Olympic medalist after winning silver at Sochi 2014 and Vancouver 2010.
But the 32-year-old would love to see more opportunities to win medals on the grandest stage of all.
The triple world champion does have experience driving a four-man sled, and three all female quartets competed with the men at this weekend’s International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup in Igls.
These were piloted by Canadians Kaillie Humphries and Alysia Rissling and Romania’s Maria Constantin.
Speaking in a conference call in advance of Thursday’s (February 9) milestone marking one year to go until the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, Meyers Taylor said: “Right now you only have one discipline, one opportunity to win a medal.
“Every four years you have less than four minutes to perform and to go out there and try and win a medal for your country.
“If we added the four woman bobsleigh we’d be able to have another opportunity.
“There are a lot of difficulties.
“The biggest thing is having women driving sleds.
“I’ve been able to drive sleds with the men and competing with male competitors including my husband, which has been great, but I’ve also driven sleds with four women crews, which is a huge step in the right direction for our sport.
“It’s going to take some time.
“I’m going to do whatever I can from a US side.”
Hopes for the addition of four-woman bobsleigh at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics remain but the 2026 edition could be a more realistic target.
In January 2016, IBSF President Ivo Ferriani, now a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told insidethegames: “We will be evaluating the possibilities for the four-woman bob very closely, although if you are talking to me about the Olympics it is too soon to decide on what is the right direction.
“We have a lot of work to do on this, and we want to analyze all the available data.
“This option is available to all the Federations.
“But we want to consider all the evidence – we need to look at the technical information, the logistics, recruitment.
“We must make a global analysis in terms of costs, numbers of competitors and the impact of the logistics involved.
“There are a lot of components which need to be evaluated.”
By Dan Palmer
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.