Winter Olympics: Humphries wins historic gold after switching from Canada to USA

By Sports Desk February 14, 2022 1352

Kaillie Humphries made Winter Olympics history on multiple fronts on Monday by surging to victory for the United States in the debut of the women's monobob event.

The 36-year-old only received clearance to represent USA in Beijing two months ago, having previously won two golds and a bronze for Canada across the past three Games.

Humphries switched allegiance in 2019 amid a divisive separation, but it was not until December that she became a naturalised United States citizen and received a passport.

She is the first female to win a Winter Olympics title for two different nations, and the second athlete overall after speed skater Viktor An for South Korea and Russia.

Not only that, Humphries can now forever hold claim to winning gold in the debut women's monobob event after securing a dominant victory at the National Sliding Centre.

Humphries beat team-mate Elana Meyers Taylor by 1.54 seconds as USA went 1-2, ending Germany's dominance in the process, with Christine de Bruin of Canada in third.

The US pair are the first women competitors to win a bobsled medal at four straight Games, but this latest triumph was particularly special for Humphries.

"This one does feel more emotional for me," she said. "Although each Olympic journey has been different, I've had to choose to walk away from my original birth nation. 

"I've had to fight. There have been a lot of people that have tried to stand in my way. And there have been a lot of obstacles to get to this point.

"And so, to know that everybody that supported me and that all the work that I put in has amounted to being the best year, it's very heart-warming to say the least. 

"It hits the heartstrings a little bit more to know that I chose a nation and it chose me back and that we could do this together as a team."

The women's monobob was added to the programme for the first time this year, meaning women now have the same amount of bobsleigh medals to compete for as the men.

It is hoped it will encourage further female participation in the sport, and Humphries is more than happy to fly the flag.

"This is huge," she said. "I still remember back in 2002, the first women who won: Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers. 

"I hope in the future young girls are going to go, 'I remember Kaillie', and then they get involved. 

"They now have two opportunities and hopefully even more opportunities to win more medals in the sport. That's super cool and I will continue to fight for that. 

"The women before me have allowed this to happen and I want to make sure that continues for all future generations. This is a huge step forward. 

"By no means do I think we're done. I really want to see women do four-woman and I would love to see men do monobob as well. Three events for all genders."

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Last modified on Monday, 14 February 2022 07:12
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