Kaillie Humphries gets fitted in Polo Ralph Lauren ahead of Beijing 2022 on Jan. 28, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
BEIJING, China — Twists and turns on a snowy track proved to be a welcome challenge on day one of the monobob competition Sunday for Team USA’s Elana Meyers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries after the week they’d had.
The two bobsled pilots — both four-time Olympians and three-time medalists — spent their first week in the Chinese capital in quarantine after Meyers Taylor tested positive two days after arriving in Beijing, and Humphries was deemed a close contact.
Thankfully, the pair cleared quarantine in time to train for the debut of the women’s monobob event at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
“I thought I had a really good chance at 2-man,” Meyers Taylor said, not sure if she’d get released with only enough time for her second event. “I was just praying for one day at monobob training because I did not know if I’d get out in time.”
On Thursday, on her first training run back, Meyers Taylor finished fifth; and 10th on her second run.
Then on Sunday at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre in Beijing, after the first two heats Sunday, both American women showed podium potential.
Meyers Taylor’s total time was a respectable 2:10.42, placing her fourth overall and a new start record.
“There are some really great competitors from top to bottom. You can see from the timesheet that some people have figured it out more than others,” she said about her first event of the Games. “But it is what it is. I’m going to do the best with it I can. Make the most of it.”
Meanwhile, her teammate Humphries finished first with 2:09.10 — and was the only athlete to complete a run inside 1:05, finishing a full second ahead of the pack after the second heat and earning her a new track record.
Meyers Taylor knew to expect it from her teammate, the defending world champ. The two went head-to-head at the recent monobob world series, where Humphries finished just behind her American teammate.
“There’s some very fierce competitors: Kaillie, [Australia’s] Breeana Walker, the Canadians [Cynthia Appiah and Christine de Bruin]. Top to bottom, it’s going to be a challenge either way,” Meyers Taylor said.