5-Time Olympic Medalist Elana Meyers Taylor Joins Global Down Syndrome Foundation As New International Spokesperson


DENVER, June 16, 2022 – Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GLOBAL) has announced that Elana Meyers Taylor, a 5-time Olympic bobsledder for Team USA, and the most decorated African American Winter Olympics athlete, has signed on as an official GLOBAL International Spokesperson, joining the ranks of Quincy Jones,  Jamie Foxx, John C. McGinley, Frank Stephens, Kyra Phillips, Beverly Johnson and Amanda Booth.

“We are thrilled to have Elana join our family” said GLOBAL President & CEO, Michelle Sie Whitten. “As mothers to children with Down syndrome, we share many similar experiences and priorities, and we are both wired to do what it takes to make sure the world is a better place for our children. Elana’s dedication, acumen, kindness, passion, and advocacy experience is already helping GLOBAL and the people with Down syndrome we serve.”

Taylor has competed in 4 Winter Olympics (2010 Vancouver, 2014 Sochi, 2018 Pyeongchang, and 2022 Beijing), won three silver Olympic medals and two bronze, and is a four-time World Champion. She made history as the first woman to earn a spot on the U.S. National Team competing with men. She is also the most decorated female bobsledder in Olympic history, and the most decorated U.S. bobsledder of any gender. Taylor was the former president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, the largest organization advocating for women in sports, and is married to fellow Team USA bobsledder and chiropractor Nic Taylor, with whom she shares Nico, a 2-year-old who happens to have  Down syndrome.

Taylor’s first appearance as a GLOBAL International Spokesperson was at the 2022 AcceptAbility Gala in Washington, DC, where she spoke about her passion for research, her family, and her partnership with GLOBAL. In her role she will be part of GLOBAL’s Champion Advisory Board working with GLOBAL to advocate in Washington, DC, her hometown of Atlanta, and around the world.

“I am truly honored to be an International Spokesperson for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation,” says Taylor. “Nico is brilliant and beautiful, and I want to be part of an organization that is making a sustained, measurable difference for his future, and for all children and adults with Down syndrome. GLOBAL’s advocacy is producing transformative and life-saving research and medical care that is already elongating life and improving health outcomes. This is why I am so enthusiastic and happy to join GLOBAL and their amazing Champion Advisory Board. ”

GLOBAL’s advocacy and lobbying efforts with Congress and outreach to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have resulted in an unprecedented increase of the national Down syndrome research budget, from $27 million in 2016 to $115 million in 2022.

A key initiative Taylor and GLOBAL will collaborate on is increasing research and medical care that targets the unacceptable discrepancy in average lifespans between black individuals with Down syndrome and white individuals with Down syndrome. Black people with Down syndrome have an average lifespan of 36, while individuals who are white that have Down syndrome have an average life span of 60. GLOBAL is leading advocacy efforts to address this critical issue, a fight that Taylor is now helping spearhead.


About Global Down Syndrome Foundation

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GLOBAL) is the largest non-profit in the U.S. working to save lives and dramatically improve health outcomes for people with Down syndrome. GLOBAL has donated more than $32 million to establish the first Down syndrome research institute supporting over 400 scientists and over 2,200 patients with Down syndrome from 33 states and 10 countries. Working closely with Congress and the National Institutes of Health, GLOBAL is the lead advocacy organization in the U.S. for Down syndrome research and care. GLOBAL has a membership of over 120 Down syndrome organizations worldwide, and is part of a network of Affiliates – the Crnic Institute for Down Syndromethe Sie Center for Down Syndrome, and the University of Colorado Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center – all on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

GLOBAL’s widely circulated medical publications include Global Medical Care Guidelines for Adults with Down SyndromePrenatal Testing and Information about Down Syndrome, and the award-winning magazine Down Syndrome WorldTM. GLOBAL also organizes the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, the largest Down syndrome fundraiser in the world. Visit globaldownsyndrome.org and follow us on social media (Facebook & Twitter: @GDSFoundation, Instagram: @globaldownsyndrome).


Anca Call, acall@globaldownsyndrome.org, C: (720) 320-3832
Ben Enyart, benyart@globaldownsyndrome.org, C: (913) 433-4843

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