Kaillie Humphries celebrates winning the Women’s Monobob (Heat 4) at the IBSF World Championships on Feb. 14, 2021 in Altenberg, Germany.
Kaillie Humphries made history on Sunday at the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Championships in Altenberg, Germany.
The three-time Olympian won the first world title ever to be awarded in women’s monobob, surging into first place on her first run of the day and eventually sealing a .50-second victory over second-place finisher Stephanie Schneider of Germany.
One week ago, Humphries won the title in two-woman bobsled alongside partner Lolo Jones. Her performance in Germany cements her status as the best in both sports going into the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Humphries, 35, began Sunday’s competition in second place, trailing by just 0.04 seconds, after the first two runs on Saturday. She took over the lead by 0.16 seconds after the first run of the day and third of the competition.
But her best was still to come. On her fourth and final run, Humphries registered her fastest start of the competition at 6.14 seconds and finished with a new track record of 59.47 seconds. Her combined time of 3:59.62 gave her a comfortable victory that put her in a reflective mood.
“I’m ending on a high, and I really just continue to think about how grateful I am to be here, to represent the United States, and to compete,” Humphries, who won two Olympic golds and one bronze medal while competing for Canada, told USA Bobsled & Skeleton. “It’s such a huge honor. I’m so happy.”
Schneider took silver with a combined time of 4:00.12 and fellow German Laura Nolte was third in 4:00.42.
Monobob is just as it sounds: a bobsled for one person. Women including Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor spent years pushing for it to be included in the Olympic program, and it was showcased at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer. Two years later, the IOC announced it was adding the discipline to the 2022 Beijing schedule.
Monobob was then added to the world cup schedule this season, and Humphries was 2-for-2 in races in January. The U.S. team took the first half of the season off and made a late debut on the international scene due to COVID-19 concerns.
Meyers Taylor also competed for the U.S. this weekend but had a tough go, crashing on two of her four runs. Still, there was no quit in the three-time Olympic medalist, who took last season off for the birth of her first child. She had the second-fastest time in Sunday’s opening run and then had her best start of the competition on the last run at 5.99 seconds before crashing at the end. She finished 15th with a combined time of 4:05.44.