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Humphries and Gibbs crowned 2020 Women’s Bobsled World Champions
Photo credit: IBSF
ALTENBERG, Germany (Feb. 22, 2020)– Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) won the women’s bobsled 2020 World Championships in Altenberg today.
“I love this track. It’s very challenging, one of the hardest in the world,” Humphries said. “It demands a lot of focus, a lot of respect every minute you’re on that track. So to be able to win here, I know the Germans and the spectators, everybody, have worked so hard and this week, no exceptions. I’m proud of all of the girls. We took the last World Cup race off to prepare for this and it worked. And I’m so happy it worked! It was worth all of the risk to get the reward, but we worked really hard this past week.”
Humphries has now won six World Championship medals and three World Championship titles in her career. This is her first while wearing a Team USA uniform. This is Gibbs’ first World Championship win and her second World Championship medal. She claimed the 2016 bronze medal with Elana Meyers Taylor in Igls, Austria.
Humphries and Gibbs hoisted the women’s bobsled World Championship trophy into the air– the trophy that wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for Humphries. When she won her first title in 2012, she watched as the men raised a trophy engraved with generations of winners on it. There wasn’t one for the women. She made sure that changed, working with her parents to secure a trophy and engrave it with all of the past winners. Now she has the trophy back in her possession, and she’ll get to engrave her name for the third time with Gibbs’ name as a member of Team USA.
Humphries and Gibbs held a lead of 0.21 seconds heading into today’s final heats. The American team was the first sled off the start today, and they again blasted off the block with the fastest push time of 5.62 seconds. Humphries navigated the Omaze branded sled to the finish in 56.27 seconds.
“I consider my job to give Kaillie as much room to just do what she does best and not get in her way, not hold her back,” Gibbs said. “It’s an honor to race with her.”
Germany’s Kim Kalicki and Kira Lipperheide inched closer to the Americans, narrowing the gap to 0.19 seconds. Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig of Germany were in second position coming into today, but they fell back into fifth. Reigning Olympic and World champions Mariama Jamanka and Annika Drazek were third after today’s opening heat, but only by 0.02 seconds over Canadians Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski. The medals would come down to the fourth and final heat.
The pressure fueled Humphries and Gibbs. They once again posted a start time of 5.62 seconds, and Humphries flawlessly piloted the sled to the finish in 56.42 seconds to secure the title. Humphries and Gibbs clocked a four-run combined time of 3:45.49 to win the 2020 World Championship title by 0.37 seconds. Humphries and Gibbs were fastest down the hill in three of the four heats.
Humphries struggled with corners three and four during training, and she worked alongside coaches Brian Shimer and Shauna Rohbock worked through it with her, and Kohn said “she nailed it in that final run, she came through like a champion.”
“It goes to show what kind of person she is to make that happen under that kind of pressure,” Kohn said. “She brought it home.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team and Team USA,” Humphries said.
Kalicki and Lipperheide had an impressive performance today, but it wasn’t enough to take over the Americans. The German team finished second with a total time of 3:45.86. Kalicki was the only driver to post a faster run than Humphries, which was in today’s opening heat. De Bruin and Bujnowski surpassed Jamanka and Drazek for the bronze medal. The Canadians finished in 3:46.55 to finish third to place two North American teams in the top three.
Racing continues tomorrow with the medal deciding heats of the men’s two-man bobsled World Championships at 2:30 p.m. local time/8:30 a.m. EST.
NBC Sports and the Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.
Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or firstname.lastname@example.org, with media inquiries.
1. Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs (USA) 3:45.49 (56.47, 56.33, 56.27, 56.42);
2. Kim Kalikci and Kira Lipperheide (GER) 3:45.86 (56.56, 56.45, 56.25, 56.60);
3. Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski (CAN) 3:46.55 (56.60, 56.87, 56.47, 56.61);
About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, Boomerang Carnets, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.