Most skaters approach their little snow dragon training in China as if they were college students training midterm, trying to learn as much as possible in the short time frame before the big test.
Kylie Humphreys of the United States was the only one of the 20 players to make it through to the finals for monopop training on Saturday at the National Skating Center. She had the track – nuances and inclinations – memorized.
On Monday, she proved that her instincts were correct. Humphreys won the gold medal in opening monopop An event in which a sportswoman is pushing and driving a sleigh on an icy track.
Humphries zigzagged for four rounds of 4 minutes 19.27 seconds. Ilana Myers Taylor, who was chosen to be the flag bearer at the opening ceremony, but tested positive for the coronavirus, left quarantine in time to win the silver medal for the United States. Canada’s Christine De Bruyne won the bronze.
Humphreys’ win paused Germany’s gold medal streak in figure skating at the Beijing Olympics. The country has collected gold medals in all six previous sliding competitions.
Humphries now has three gold medals in bobsleigh after her victories in the 2010 Vancouver two-woman event and the 2014 Sochi Games. No other woman has won more than one gold since the IOC introduced women’s bobsleigh at the 2002 Olympics. Humphries, 36, also tied the standard Who put the skater on the ice Lindsey Jacobless Earlier in Beijing as the oldest American woman to win a medal at the Winter Olympics.
This is the first Olympics for Humphreys to represent the United States after sharp split From Bobsleigh Canada, a program that has taken it to new heights and has represented at three previous Olympics.
After winning a bronze medal in 2018, Humphries filed a formal complaint of mental and verbal abuse against Canada’s bobsleigh coach Todd Hayes. She asked to exit the program, and began a protracted confrontation.
Other nations recruited Humphreys with an offer of instant citizenship to compete in Beijing under their flag. Instead, Humphries waited the long process it took to become a US citizen with no guarantees that she would get a passport with enough time to compete in the Games.
“I’m getting American,” Humphries said before the Olympics. “Reminding myself that it made it so much bigger and more awesome. At the end of the day, the Olympics is a race. It’s what I work for, but it’s not a part of who I am, and becoming an American has become a big part of me.”
She became one in December, which gave her enough window to qualify for the Winter Games.
“This has been a very tough battle to get here, and it definitely feels different,” she said.
Humphreys and Taylor Myers, friends and rivals, have traded winnings and places on the World Cup circuit for more than a decade. Myers-Taylor has won two silvers and one bronze in the past Olympics.
“We’ve shared the platform together since 2010,” Humphries said. “And we have this battle royal where she pushed her and she pushes me to be better. And it always worked out.”
The International Olympic Committee announced the inclusion of monobob in the Olympic Games in 2018, but only for women. Men are still the only competitors in the four-man bobsleigh event.
“What I love to see in our sport is that men get a chance to do monobob and women get a chance to do all fours and our sport grows and it actually becomes very equal,” Humphreys said.
Humphries and Taylor Myers will have another chance to add to their medal totals. The two-woman skating event begins on Friday.
“Travel aficionado. Infuriatingly humble reader. Incurable internet specialist.”