Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse teamed up to win the nation's first-ever World Championship medal in women’s bobsleigh after driving to the bronze on Saturday in Konigssee, Germany. Days removed from the one-year anniversary of their historic golden performance at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Canadian duo were determined to reach the podium again after posting the fastest time in the opening run of the two-day, four-run World Championship race on the 1,250-metre Konigssee track.
“It feels really good and this is a great result because it is no secret this has been a season of ups and downs to say the least with injuries and driving,” said Humphries. “With everything we’ve been through, to become the first Canadian women to win a World Championship medal makes it sweeter.”
It is indeed a sweet ending to a challenging post-Olympic season for Humphries and Moyse, who are two of the most explosive athletes off the start in the world. With Moyse forced to the sidelines for the first half of the World Cup season while recovering from a severe foot injury suffered while playing for Canada at the World Cup of Rugby this summer, Humphries teamed up with World Cup rookie brakeman Heather Hughes to win her lone bronze medal of the post-Olympic year in Whistler.
“The goal for us was always the World Championships,” said Humphries. “I am very proud that we were able to stay focused on that goal and then go out and get it done. There is a lot of expectations on us and to go and do the business and get on the podium is great.”
“This is an absolutely fantastic performance. To be able to beat the Germans on their home track is a remarkable achievement,” said Tom De La Hunty, head coach, Canadian Bobsleigh Team. “Everyone predicted the Germans to sweep the podium so we are really happy.” While there was no German sweep, they did grab the gold while the United States locked up second spot. Calgary’s 31-year-old Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown, of Pickering, Ont., fdrove the Canada 2 sled to fifth spot.
It has been a magical run for the 25-year-old Humphries, who has captured eight World Cup podium finishes to go along with her Olympic gold and World Championship bronze medal in just five years of driving since making the switch into the pilot position following the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. ‘It has been a great five years and lots has happened in a very quick time,” said Humphries. “I’m still learning about how to drive and will always be working on my consistency. That comes with time, and when people tell me it takes time that kills me because I wish there was stuff I can do now.” “I’m very proud of the opportunities that I have been given. I continue to work as hard as I can, and I make the most out of every situation presented, and that is all that I can do. Records are made to be broken and I am motivated to go out there and hopefully break some in the future.”
Canada’s Lyndon Rush drove to the finish line of the two-man bobsleigh season by finishing ninth on Sunday. The 30-year-old Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., joined forces with his Edmonton-basedteammate, Neville Wright, battled back from being in 16th spot after the first heat to place ninth. “I can come up with all of the excuses in the world, but the reality is it just wasn’t that good,” said Rush. “I was shocked when I got to the finish and saw my down time. At the Worlds it is medal or nothing. We continued to fight to the end today for ourselves.”