Kaillie Humphries Goes for Gold in Monobob's Final Runs

Kaillie Humphries Goes for Gold in Monobob's Remaining Runs

Most bobsledders approached their few treasured coaching runs on China’s snow dragon as in the event that they have been faculty college students cramming for a midterm, making an attempt to study as a lot as attainable in a short while body earlier than the massive take a look at.

Kaillie Humphries of the USA was the one athlete among the many subject of 20 who skipped the ultimate monobob coaching heats on Saturday on the Nationwide Sliding Heart. She had the observe — its nuances and tendencies — memorized.

On Monday, she’s going to attempt to show that her instincts have been appropriate within the inaugural monobob occasion, during which one feminine athlete pushes and pilots her sled down the icy observe.

If she wins, it can pause Germany’s run of golds in sliding sports activities on the Beijing Video games. The nation collected golds in all six of the earlier sliding competitions.

Humphries, 36, would additionally tie the benchmark established by the snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis earlier in Beijing because the oldest American lady to medal on the Winter Olympics.

That is Humphries’s first Olympics representing the USA after an acrimonious break up from Bobsleigh Canada, a program she had lifted to new heights and represented at three earlier Olympics.

After profitable a bronze medal in 2018, Humphries filed a proper grievance of psychological and verbal abuse towards Todd Hays, a coach for Bobsleigh Canada. She requested to be launched from this system, initiating a protracted standoff.

Different nations recruited Humphries with the provide of rapid citizenship to compete in Beijing beneath their flag. Humphries as a substitute waited out the prolonged course of it took to develop into a U.S. citizen with no assurances that she could be granted a passport with sufficient time to compete at these Video games.

“I’m changing into an American,” Humphries mentioned earlier than the Olympics. “Reminding myself of that made it a lot larger and rather more grand. On the finish of the day, the Olympics is a race. It’s what I work for, nevertheless it’s not part of who I’m, and changing into an American could be very a lot part of who I’m.”

She grew to become one in December, permitting simply sufficient of a window to qualify for the Winter Video games.

“This has been a really onerous fought battle to get right here, and it undoubtedly feels completely different,” she mentioned.

Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor, mates and rivals, have traded wins and locations on the World Cup circuit for greater than a decade. Meyers Taylor has collected two silvers and a bronze in previous Olympics.

Meyers Taylor, 37, was named a flag-bearer for the USA earlier than she examined optimistic for the coronavirus shortly after arriving in Beijing. She made it out of quarantine in time to to compete within the race.

“We have now shared the rostrum since 2010 collectively,” Humphries mentioned. “And we’ve got this battle royale the place I push her and he or she pushes me to be higher. And it at all times labored.”

The I.O.C. introduced monobob’s Olympic inclusion in 2018, however just for girls. Males are nonetheless the one rivals within the four-man bobsled occasion.

“What I might like to see in our sport is that males get the chance to do monobob and that ladies get the chance to do four-man, and our sport grows and truly turns into very equal,” Humphries mentioned.

Humphries and Meyers Taylor may have one other alternative so as to add to their medal totals. The 2-woman bobsled occasion begins on Friday.

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