Kaillie Humphries acquired some assist from a U.S. bobsled legend on her approach to making historical past Saturday.
Humphries is the world ladies’s bobsled champion for a report fourth time, teaming with Lolo Jones to win the title on a snowy day in Altenberg, Germany. Humphries and Jones completed their 4 runs over two days in 3 minutes, 48.26 seconds.
And Humphries drove to the title in a sled geared up with runners that have been owned by Steven Holcomb, the previous world and Olympic champion who died almost 4 years in the past.
“An enormous portion of this was for him, too,” Humphries mentioned, speaking by way of her tears moments after profitable the title. “This feels nice.”
Humphries additionally gained world championships in 2012, 2013 and 2020, together with Olympic golds in 2010 and 2014. The Olympic titles and first two world crowns got here whereas she was racing for Canada. She was launched from that nationwide group, started sliding for USA Bobsled in 2019 and is awaiting a citizenship resolution that can decide whether or not she will be a part of the U.S. Olympic group subsequent yr.
Germany’s Sandra Kiriasis is the one different three-time ladies’s world champion. And now Humphries stands alone atop that record.
“It’s the greatest aid ever,” Humphries mentioned.
Kim Kalicki and Ann-Christin Strack gained the silver medal in 3:48.61. Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi of Germany completed third in 3:49.27, adopted by the German sled of Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig in fourth and the U.S. sled of Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman in fifth.
Jones is now a world champion in two completely different sports activities — profitable these crowns in three completely different a long time. She’s a two-time indoor ladies’s hurdles champion, started bobsledding almost a decade in the past and now has by far the largest victory of her sliding profession.
Jones gained the world indoor 60-meter hurdles championships in 2008 and 2010. She went to the Olympics as a hurdler in 2008 and 2012 and had a large lead in 100-meter hurdles last on the Beijing Video games 13 years in the past earlier than clipping the next-to-last barrier and stumbling out of medal competition. She additionally was a part of the U.S. bobsled group on the 2014 Pyeongchang Video games.
Her focus now could be the 2022 Beijing Video games, and being a part of this world title clearly suggests she will help the U.S. be a critical medal contender there.
“I used to be the primary hurdler to win back-to-back golds indoor so I knew the load — I had actually been in that these footwear — that she was carrying,” Jones mentioned. “I actually simply credit score Kaillie rather a lot for simply being the vet that she is, holding all of it collectively, staying composed after which simply executing. I imply, she deserves this gold medal. She works tremendous onerous for it. And he or she simply actually killed it.”
Humphries and Jones went into the ultimate warmth with a lead of 0.29 seconds over Kalicki and Strack, and the speed of snowfall — which slows sleds down because it begins to coat tracks — was rising as the ultimate run went alongside.
Not an issue. Humphries by no means had any points in that last run, crossed the end line, threw her fists into the air then circled to offer Jones a number of congratulatory smacks on the helmet.
“To have the ability to share this second along with her … it simply feels actually particular to know she had religion in me,” Humphries mentioned.
It was the eleventh world bobsled title for the U.S.
Holcomb gained three of these gold medals — and his presence was nonetheless felt this yr as properly.
“You get that particular feeling, like Holcy continues to be a part of this,” U.S. assistant coach Brian Shimer mentioned. “Coming into this and figuring out she was working these runners at present … fairly particular.”