(From R-L) Sylvia Hoffman and Kaillie Humphries celebrate at the IBSF World Cup on Jan. 18, 2020 in Innsbruck, Austria.
In a sport that moves as fast as bobsled, the smallest change in navigation and sled trajectory can change everything when a race comes down to fractions of a second.
On Saturday in Koenigssee, Germany, Kaillie Humphries and Sylvia Hoffman were in third place after the first run, sandwiched between two teams in a tie for first and two teams in a tie for fourth. Only .12 seconds separated the five teams.
There was no room for error, but opportunity to move up.
By the end of the second run, Humphries and Hoffman were in sole possession of first place, marking the first win of 2020 for Humphries as well as her third win and fourth time on the podium in six races this season, her first competing for the U.S. after winning two Olympic gold medals for Canada. It’s also her first win in Europe since January 2018 while still racing for Canada.
It was Hoffman’s first world cup victory after placing third with Humphries last weekend and also winning a bronze medal in January 2019 with three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor, who is not racing this season while pregnant with her first child. Hoffman was discovered on Season 2 of “Milk Life presents, the Next Olympic Hopeful.”
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Humphries partnered with Lauren Gibbs for consecutive wins earlier in the season in Lake Placid, New York.
Following the first run on Saturday, Humphries and Hoffman were just one-tenth of a second behind co-leaders Laura Nolte and Erline Nolte of Germany and Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski of Canada. The U.S. duo’s second-run time of 50.62 seconds was the fastest of the day and vaulted them into the lead with a total time of 1:41.57. Nolte and Nolte finished in second, just .03 seconds back, and Germany’s Stephanie Schneider and Ann-Christin Strack broke out of their tie for fourth to take third with the second-fastest second run and a total time of 1:41.66, just .09 seconds off the lead.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.