Kaillie Humphries, a two-time Olympic bobsled gold medalist for Canada and one of the top drivers in her sport’s history, is planning to race for the U.S. this coming season and beyond.
Humphries has been seeking her release from Canada for several weeks, and it still has not been received. She is marrying former U.S. men’s bobsledder Travis Armbruster on Saturday, and that would allow her to represent the U.S. in competition — provided she is released by Canada.
Humphries has been estranged from the Canadian bobsled program for more than a year after filing harassment and abuse claims. She did not race last season and hasn’t competed in a major international race since earning bronze at the PyeongChang Olympics.
“They have not provided me a safe place to come back to compete,” Humphries said.
CBC first reported Humphries’ desire to race for the U.S., reporting that she is suing Bobsleigh Canada for blocking her release and breaching their contract relating to athlete and coach code of conduct. Bobsleigh Canada declined to comment on Humphries’ case.
“This has been my life, it’s been a 15-year career,” a tearful Humphries said in a CBC video interview. “This is everything that I dreamed of since I was a kid, and to know that a country has supported me so strongly, and the people in the country have been so great.”
USA Bobsled and Skeleton told Humphries — a two-time world champion and four-time overall World Cup champion — that it would welcome her to the team. She is very close with U.S. women’s bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor.
Adding Humphries would be a major boost to the U.S. roster. The U.S. women’s program has been one of the best in the world for nearly two decades, but lost Olympic veteran pilot Jamie Greubel Poser to retirement in 2018 and didn’t enjoy its usual level of overall success last season.
There is an urgency to Humphries’ quest for the release. Under international rules she would need it by Sept. 30 to be able to compete for the U.S. this season. The U.S. team is scheduled to begin training on ice in early October, weather permitting.
Humphries has been one of the most dominant bobsledders, the only female driver to win multiple Olympic titles.
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