Most Olympians who made the trek to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Games had to do so without their families, but Team USA Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor is an exception. Her husband, Nic Taylor, is an alternate on the men’s bobsledding team, and because she is breastfeeding her 2-year-old son, Nico, he was able to make the journey with his parents. Unfortunately, he was separated from his mother just days after arriving in China’s capital.

On January 29, Elana tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, she was asymptomatic, but stayed in an isolation hotel until she received a negative test.

The diagnosis not only caused her to miss out on the opportunity to be one of Team USA’s two flag bearers during the opening ceremony, but it also meant she was unable to see her son.

“Longest as I’ve been away from (Nico), before this incident, was nine hours, I think,” she told TODAY. “At most.”

Determined to still provide breast milk to her toddler, Elana pumped into bottles while in isolation, and had them delivered along with handwritten messages of love.

“It’s nearly impossible to put into words how much @nictaylorusa, Nico, and my Dad mean to me,” the 37-year-old mom wrote in an Instagram post after reuniting with her family. “So I’ll say this: I’ve leaned on them every step of the way to the Olympic Winter Games, and near or far (and even in isolation in China), I know I always have their love and support as a source of strength.”

“Isolation was rough. Definitely hasn’t been the easiest road but I’m out and working to get ready to take on the world. Step by step- we’ll get there- thanks for being by my side,” she wrote in a subsequent post

This is Elana’s fourth Olympic Games—she took home a bronze medal in 2010, and silvers in both 2014 and 2018—and admittedly the hardest one yet. 

“This Olympics has been definitely the most challenging Olympics I’ve been to,” she told TODAY.

Elana has been on the ice taking test runs, and is hopeful to compete in the inaugural Olympic monobob competition on Sunday, Feb. 13, followed by the women's two-person bobsled event later next week.