Faith stirs bobsled duo to ‘work stuff out’
Tim Ellsworth, Baptist Press
February 24, 2010

Faith stirs bobsled duo to ‘work stuff out’

Faith stirs bobsled duo to ‘work stuff out’
Tim Ellsworth, Baptist Press
February 24, 2010

WHISTLER, British Columbia —

Erin Pac and Elana Meyers may be bobsled teammates, but they haven’t always

been the best of friends.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Fede

U.S. bobsledding teammates Erin Pac, left, and Elana Meyers, both Christians, have a mended relationship as they begin competition at the Winter Olympics.

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.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Fede

Elana Meyers

“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.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Fede

Erin Pac

“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

Winter Games.

“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.)