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U.S. women make monobob history at the 2022 Winter Olympics

Gold medallist Kaillie Humphries of Team United States (right) and silver medallist Elana Meyers Taylor (left), also of the U.S., celebrate after the inaugural final of the women's monobob event at the Winter Games.
Adam Pretty
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Gold medallist Kaillie Humphries of Team United States (right) and silver medallist Elana Meyers Taylor (left), also of the U.S., celebrate after the inaugural final of the women's monobob event at the Winter Games.

BEIJING — The U.S.'s Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor became the first women ever to medal — gold and silver, respectively — at the inaugural Olympic monobob event.

Canada's Christine de Bruin won bronze.

The Team USA teammates were behind the push to get the women's monobob added to the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Humphries said this achievement opens the door for other young girls and women.

"The women before me have allowed this to happen and I want to make sure that continues for all future generations."

Meyers Taylor called it "historic."

This is not the first time Humphries and Meyers Taylor have shared the podium. The duo have medaled three prior times in the two-woman bobsled event going back to the 2010 Vancouver Games. The Beijing Winter Games are their fourth appearance at the Olympics.

This is Humphries' first Olympics representing Team USA. The 36-year-old previously competed and medaled for Canada, but left following a harassment complaint against the country's bobsled and skeleton team. She previously won gold for Team Canada in the two-woman bobsled event in 2010 and 2014 and bronze for the same event at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

"This one does feel more emotional for me. Although each Olympic journey has been different, I've had to choose to walk away from my original birth nation," Humphries said. "I've had to fight. There have been a lot of people that have tried to stand in my way. And there have been a lot of obstacles to get to this point."

The 37-year-old Meyers Taylor won silver for the U.S. in 2018 and 2014 and won bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Games, also for the two-woman bobsled event.

Humphries was the favorite leading into the competition after winning the 2021 World Championship for monobob in Altenberg, Germany. She maintained her top performance during the two days of competition. She laid down the fastest two runs on Sunday at Yanqing National Sliding Center.

On Monday, Humphries completed her run with a total time of 4:19.27.

Meyers Taylor was running fourth going into Monday's competition. But by executing the fastest start time of the final round — 5.62 seconds — she bypassed Canada's de Bruin. A final run placed her right behind Humphries with a total time of 4:20.81.

Meyers Taylor's achievement is even more notable given she nearly lost out on the chance to participate at these Olympics entirely. She tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after arriving in Beijing and was placed in isolation. She finally tested negative after days spent in her hotel room.

She said she was emotionally and mentally drained from that experience and felt unprepared before the competition.

"My runs showed it, my runs were just terrible and I just couldn't clear my head," she said. "There was so much fog in my head from everything that had been going on. I was really questioning whether I should come out."

With the help of her support system, she pushed through.

"Thanks to my team. Thanks to everybody. They lifted me up and they lifted me up to silver medal."

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