Olympic women’s bobsled gold and silver medalists Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor placed sixth and seventh out of 11 sleds in the first international mixed-gender four-man bobsled race Saturday.
The Canadian Humphries and American Meyers Taylor competed in a lower-level North American Cup race in Park City, Utah. Four-man bobsled was declared gender neutral by the International Bobsled Federation starting this season.
U.S. Olympian Nick Cunningham won with a two-run time of 1 minute, 37.57 seconds. Humphries was .84 behind. Meyers Taylor was .88 behind. (full results here)
Humphries and Meyers Taylor were slower than 2010 Olympic champion Steven Holcomb (second place) and the other U.S. sled driven by Codie Bascue (fourth place). (Meyers Taylor had beaten Bascue at U.S. selection races last weekend)
“Not the drive I wanted, but proud of my guys,” was posted on Meyers Taylor’s Twitter account after the race.
Humphries and Meyers Taylor, driving with three men’s push athletes each, beat four bobsleds that had men’s drivers. One of those four men’s sleds was piloted by a Sochi Olympic driver, Brazilian Edson Bindilatti. Bindilatti, 35, finished 29th out of 30 sleds in Sochi and was part of four-man sleds at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics with a best finish of 25th.
The last three men’s sleds were piloted by Canadians with no Olympic driving experience.
Humphries and Meyers Taylor are hoping to compete in four-man bobsled in the top-level World Cup circuit, beginning in December in Lake Placid, N.Y.