Humphries and Gibbs have golden start to women’s bobsled World Cup season
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Dec. 7, 2019)– Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) proved that she can win at any track, in any sled, and for any country in her return to women’s bobsled competition today after taking a year off. Humphries, who won the 2010 and 2014 Olympic gold medals for Canada, made her World Cup debut today as a driver for the U.S. program with 2018 Olympic silver medalist Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) in her sled. Humphries didn’t miss a beat, returning to the sport where she left off– on the medal stand.
“This feels fantastic to start the season so strong,” Humphries said. “It’s a great way to start this next chapter. The team has been so supportive, and there’s been incredible team effort this week to make this win happen today. I’m feeling really happy and proud.”
While Humphries has been awarded dozens of medals in her career, including two World Championship titles and four overall World Cup titles, this is her first time hearing the American anthem while celebrating a victory. Humphries, who’s from Calgary, Canada, joined the American team this season following a dispute with the Canadian federation.
“I’ve been through a lot emotionally over the last year, so knowing I have the skill to focus and turn it on when I need to builds confidence,” Humphries said. “I can rely on my teammates and they trust me back. Some things aren’t perfect, but I’m a high performing athlete and there will always be things I want to improve on. I’m excited to have this as a starting point.”
Humphries drove a BMW sled, which she’s still learning, to the finish in 56.70 seconds to lead the field by 0.09 seconds after the first heat. Humphries said she made some errors driving that she was eager to clean up in the second run. She and Gibbs clocked a 56.78 to extend their lead to a wide margin of 0.30 seconds.
Humphries credits Gibbs for two solid pushes of 5.55 and 5.56 seconds, which were the fastest of the competition.
“I am so proud of (Lauren) Gibbs,” Humphries said. “I made some driving mistakes, but those pushes helped us overcome some of those.”
The pair finished with a combined time of 1:53.48 for their first victory of the season.
“Kaillie is the most laser focused athlete I’ve ever seen,” said USA Bobsled Head Coach Mike Kohn. “I’m super proud of her, Lauren Gibbs, and this team for their efforts today. We’re looking forward to more medals this season.”
Stephanie Schneider and Lisette Thoene from Germany rallied back from fourth to claim the silver medal with a two-run total of 1:53.79. Kim Kalicki and Vanessa Mark earned bronze for Germany with a combined time of 1:53.92.
Brittany Reinbolt (Searcy, Ark.) and Sylvia Hoffman (Arlington, Texas) had a strong performance today. The duo missed the top-six by a mere 0.01 seconds, finishing seventh in the KOA branded BMW sled with a combined time of 1:54.48. Reinbolt and Hoffman combined forces for start times of 5.63 and 5.73 and runs of 57.06 and 57.42 seconds, respectively.
Missing from tour this season is three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor. Meyers Taylor and her husband, Nic Taylor, are expecting their first child this spring. Meyers Taylor has stayed involved with the team while pregnant by coaching development athletes.
The men’s two-man bobsled race is up next at 3 p.m. EST. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup in Lake Placid, NY from Saturday, Dec. 7 to Sunday, Dec. 8. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app which is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.
Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or email@example.com, with media inquiries. Media interested in attending either weekend of racing can apply for a credential at https://www.whiteface.com/media.
1. Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs (USA) 1:53.48 (56.70, 56.78); 2. Stephanie Schneider and Lisette Thoene (GER) 1:53.79 (56.83, 56.96); 3. Kim Kalicki and Vanessa Mark (GER) 1:53.92 (56.82, 57.10); 7. Brittany Reinbolt and Sylvia Hoffman (USA) 1:54.48 (57.06, 57.42);
About USA Bobsled & Skeleton USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.