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Ms Elana Meyer

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Ms Elana Meyer Awarded for:
Her excellent contribution to track and field athletics. Her commitment to her sport and her glittering performances put South Africa on the world stage a multiple times.
Profile of Ms Elana Meyer

Ms Elana Meyer grew up on her family’s farm outside the small town of Albertinia in the Southern Cape. She discovered her talent for running at an early age.

At just 13 years of age, Meyer won her first official road race, the Foot of Africa half marathon. Soon thereafter, she started competing against the barefoot wonder, Zola Budd, who dominated South African athletics in the 1980s. Meyer achieved great success at national level and was awarded her Springbok colours as a junior athlete.

During apartheid, Meyer could not compete internationally due to South Africa’s sporting isolation. However, this did not deter her from using international standards and times as the benchmarks for setting her own running goals. She knew she was able to match and better many of the world’s top women endurance runners of that time. She also used these years to complete her university studies.

Meyer was awarded her BCom and BCom (Hons) degrees as well as her Higher Education Diploma from the University of Stellenbosch. She then enrolled for a Master’s degree in Marketing, but that had to be put aside temporarily in the interest of international racing when South Africa’s period of isolation ended in the early 1990s.

The defining moment of her early career came soon thereafter. Competing in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, South Africa’s first Olympic Games since 1960, Meyer won a historic Olympic silver medal. She is currently Co-Director of the South African Endurance Academy, a non-profit organisation that provides a complete sports management solution for aspiring endurance athletes.

The organisation identifies talented South African distance runners and offers them a multi-faceted support programme that includes top level sports coaching, race management, contract sourcing and negotiations, brand and enterprise development, marketing and reputation management, and life skills development.