WHISTLER, British Columbia —
Erin Pac and Elana Meyers may be bobsled teammates, but they haven’t always
been the best of friends.
The U.S. bobsledding duo had a falling out last year. Though they decline to go
into details, “We didn’t speak for a long time,” Pac said.
Not content to let things remain that way, however, the two women — both
Christians — began working on their relationship. And now, as they prepare to
compete together at the Winter Olympics, they have repaired their friendship
and are ready to race not for their own achievement, but for God’s glory.
“It’s taken a lot of time and forgiveness,” Pac said. “I’m so happy that we can
work stuff out and … and be a light for Him.”
During her first year competing in the sport, Meyers served as Pac’s brakeman.
In Meyers’ second year, she began switching drivers, which opened the door to
the division between the two.
“It’s hard because one week you’re with a pilot, and then the next week you’re
on a competing sled,” Meyers said. “So relationships get strained and things
happen. It’s just a difficult sport to be in.”
In a lot of ways, Pac and Meyers are drastically different. Pac grew up in
Connecticut and began bobsledding at the prompting of her college track coach.
She started out as a brakeman but didn’t make the Olympics in that role, so she
switched to piloting.
“The reason I decided to become a driver is because you are then in control of
your own destiny to make the Olympic team,” Pac said. “It’s basically on the
driver’s shoulders to make the Olympic team. It’s what happens down the hill,
not when we’re just about to start.”
Meyers, meanwhile, hails from the warm state of Georgia and grew up playing
softball, even playing professionally before deciding to take a different path
with her life.
She watched bobsledding in the 2006 Olympics and started
e-mailing people in an attempt to get involved with the sport.
Before she knew
it, she got a tryout.
But as different as Pac and Meyers might be, the bonds that unite them are
stronger than their divisions. Both of them came to faith in Christ as adults
and are committed to being a witness to others in their sport.
“A lot of my teammates come to me if they need to talk, if they need
encouragement, anything like that,” Pac said. “I think that’s God showing
through me. Because I can’t do that on my own. I can’t help encourage other
athletes who I’m competing against. That’s hard for me. I definitely think He’s
trying to speak through me in the sport.”
For Meyers, her walk with the Lord helps her keep bobsledding from being a
higher priority than it should be.
“I used to be a person, before I accepted Jesus as my Savior, that believed
that sports was the be-all, end-all,” Meyers said. “Even though I said God was No.
1, I put sports No. 1. My relationship with Christ really allows me to keep
bobsledding in its perspective. At the end of the day, God loves me whether I
win a gold medal or whether I finish dead last.”
Their shared commitment to the Lord also has helped them overcome the obstacles
in their relationship.
“I think our relationship has grown a lot, and what we do share in common is
our faith,” Meyers said. “We both have strong faith, we both believe in God and
Jesus and I think that helps a lot when we’re trying to do what we’re trying to
do and compete for the glory of God on the world’s biggest sports stage.”
When Meyers and Pac take to the slide Feb. 23-24, they know that the past is
behind them, and they can unite behind the goal of performing well in the
“I think we can really pull together now and just be an awesome team,” Pac said.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Ellsworth, in addition to his work for BPSports, is
director of news and media relations at Union University in Jackson, Tenn.)