Kaillie Humphries in dispute with Canada bobsled federation

Kaillie Humphries
AP
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Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries said she’s being forced to choose between two-woman bobsled and continuing to push the gender barrier in four-man by Canada’s bobsled federation, according to Canadian media.

“I’m mad,” Humphries said Wednesday after spending most of the previous two days crying at home, according to Postmedia News in Canada. “This sucks. I’m being told I can’t do something, because I’m a girl.”

Humphries and American Elana Meyers Taylor became the first women to pilot four-man bobsleds last season, but Humphries will likely not be driving in that event for at least the first three World Cups this season.

That’s not because of her gender but because the athletes behind Humphries are not skilled enough, according to Canada’s bobsled federation.

Six Canadian push athletes met the nation’s World Cup qualifying criteria in preseason training times, and with three push athletes (plus one spare) per sled, the nation will send one four-man sled to the first three World Cups rather than a potential three, according to Postmedia News.

Humphries is the third-ranked Canadian driver for four-man bobsleds, meaning that even if two more push athletes meet the qualifying times later in the season, she isn’t in line to drive that second sled.

“It’s an outrageous accusation that we’re standing in her way because she’s a woman,” Canada bobsled president Sarah Storey said, according to Postmedia News. “We set out months ago the objectives and clear selection criteria. These were published to all the athletes – Kaillie included – in July. The selection criteria were created with the goal of making sure that we field the best teams. … We don’t send people on the World Cup to develop, we don’t send them as tourists. We send them to win medals, to contend at every race.”

Humphries will compete in four-man at development-level North American Cup races in Calgary on Friday and Saturday but is unsure when she’ll drive them again, according to the Canadian Press.

The World Cup season starts the last weekend of November, with Humphries set to drive her two-woman sled on that circuit. It’s logistically hard to compete in both World Cup races in two-woman and lower-level North American or Europe Cup races in four-man in the middle of a season.

“I’m being forced to pick medals [in two-woman] over development of Canada 3 [four-man],” Humphries said, according to the Canadian Press. “I don’t feel there needs to be a choice made here. I feel I can step up to the challenge of doing both.”

Humphries had a best finish of 14th place in six World Cup four-man bobsled races last season.

MORE: Humphries named Canada Athlete of the Year

2022 Ironman Kona World Championships results

Ironman Kona World Championships
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2022 Ironman Kona World Championship top-10 results and notables (full, searchable pro and age group results are here) …

Pro Women
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) — 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) — 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) — 8:42:22
4. Laura Philipp (GER) — 8:50:31
5. Lisa Norden (SWE) — 8:54:43
6. Fenella Langridge (GBR) — 8:56:26
7. Sarah Crowley (AUS) — 9:01:58
8. Daniela Ryf (SUI) — 9:02:26
9. Skye Moench (USA) — 9:04:31
10. Laura Siddall (GBR) — 9:07:49
16. Heather Jackson (USA) — 9:22:17
DNF. Sarah True (USA)

Pro Men
Race is on Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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Chelsea Sodaro wins Ironman Kona World Championship, ends American drought

Chelsea Sodaro
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Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the Ironman Kona World Championships women’s race, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, prevailed in an unofficial 8 hours, 33 minutes, 46 seconds on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“My mind is a little bit blown right now,” she said in a finish area interview 25 minutes later, standing next to her daughter, Skylar. “This is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective. … This is freakin’ incredible, but the greatest gift at the end of the finish line is my little 18-month-old.”

Sodaro was in fifth place after the 2.6-mile swim and 112-mile bike, then recorded one of the fastest 26.2-mile marathon runs in event history (2:51:45) to win by 7 minutes, 50 seconds over Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Swiss Daniela Ryf, who was eyeing her sixth Ironman world title, led after the bike but faded quickly on the run.

MORE: Ironman Kona Race Results

Sodaro, whose lone previous full Ironman was a second-place finish at June’s European Championships (reportedly in the second-fastest Ironman distance debut in history), became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996.

She is the first woman or man to win in their Kona debut since Brit Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

Sodaro (née Reilly) was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

She turned to triathlon in 2017, made podiums on the World Cup circuit (just below the top-level World Series for Olympic hopefuls) and moved up to long-distance racing in 2018.

At the half Ironman distance, she was fourth at the 2019 World Championships, her last major championship start before the pandemic, pregnancy, childbirth and a move up to the full Ironman this year.

“I’m pretty stoked that I think I maybe get to take the rest of the year off and be a mom for a month or so,” Sodaro said.

The pro men’s race is Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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