MONTREAL – Two-time Olympic bobsleigh champion Kaillie Humphries left her native Canada due to harassment and now goals of competing in a fourth Olympic Video games, this time as an American.
Sporting a USA sweater, her hair pulled again with a starry headband, one of many top-ranked ladies bobsleighers is all smiles after “a very nice week.”
“I really feel a bit overwhelmed, I gained’t lie,” she informed AFP with fun throughout an interview in Altenberg, Germany the place she was competing within the Bobsleigh World Cup.
The 36-year-old athlete, initially from Calgary in western Canada, simply realized that her two-year pursuit of American citizenship was profitable, opening the door for her to signify the USA on the Beijing Olympics in February.
Two days later, she climbed to the highest of the rostrum, marking her 28th World Cup victory.
Coming after “main ups and downs” over the previous three to 4 years, she mentioned she feels “an enormous sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.”
– Afraid of getting punched –
In August 2018, Humphries filed a criticism towards her coach, alleging harassment. It led to a break with the Canadian staff and her transfer to the USA, which permitted her to signify the nation on the World Cup in 2019.
Subsequently, an unbiased investigation by the Canadian bobsleigh federation concluded that there’s inadequate proof to show the alleged harassment.
“My sporting profession was over in Canada,” she mentioned. “I knew that it was not protected for me to proceed in that surroundings.”
She described on daily basis being “scared of (my) surroundings; you don’t know if you happen to’re going to get punched within the face if you happen to say the fallacious factor,” including that she was threatened bodily, in addition to “degraded publicly, humiliated… bullied and abused.”
“I attempted to talk up,” however obtained little or no assist, she mentioned. Strolling away in the long run “was not a straightforward choice.”
“It killed me to do it,” she mentioned.
Now Humphries is dreaming of including two extra Olympic medals to her assortment on the Beijing Video games, in two-woman bobsleigh and ladies’s mono bob a brand new addition to the Olympics. She beforehand gained gold in 2010 and 2014, and bronze in 2018.
– Stronger bodily, mentally –
On social networks, Humphries recurrently posts movies of her coaching periods. Sporting lengthy blond hair on one facet of her head, shaved on the opposite, we see her doing push-ups in her home and coaching within the streets of Carlsbad, California, the place she lives together with her husband, American former bobsledder Travis Armbruster.
She is satisfied that the challenges of the previous few years have made her stronger, whereas advocating for a sport free from tyrannical and violent coaches.
“The shift is so liberating, and I really feel so free and protected and empowered on this present surroundings,” she mentioned of her transfer to hitch Group USA.
“I’m with like-minded individuals (who) push me to be one of the best that I could be bodily and mentally,” she mentioned. “I’m seemed upon as a frontrunner… I’m revered as a feminine, as an athlete.”
“Everybody deserves to be handled with respect and be in a protected surroundings and never be petrified of being hit or harassed or abused,” insisted the adventurous go-getter, including that she doesn’t remorse any of her decisions.
A couple of years in the past, Humphries fought to present more room to ladies in sports activities. It was at her urging that the Worldwide Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation opened up the premier four-man bobsleigh to ladies by inviting them to compete in combined crews.
By January 17, she ought to know if she will be able to go to Beijing for a fourth Olympic Video games, which might in itself be a victory.