World Bobsled and Skeleton Championships

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Bobsled, skeleton world championships moved out of Lake Placid

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The February 2021 World Bobsled and Skeleton Championships have been moved from Lake Placid, N.Y., to Altenberg, Germany, due to travel-related coronavirus concerns.

“The decision wasn’t easy as you can imagine, the bulk of athletes competing in the championships are based in Europe, so our strategy was to have less time spent in quarantine,” Heike Groesswang, International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) secretary general, said in a press release.

The move was made due to “travel restrictions that have been implemented to ensure the health and safety of all athletes,” according to the IBSF.

Two weeks ago, the world luge championships, also scheduled for February, were moved out of Whistler, B.C., for similar travel concerns. The International Luge Federation said it would decide a new venue within weeks.

Other upcoming winter sports seasons have also been affected. Alpine skiing will not have its usual North American World Cup stops in November and December. Figure skating’s international Grand Prix events this autumn will have localized fields. Speed skating World Cups have already been canceled.

The bobsled and skeleton World Cup is slated to go on with a schedule to be updated later Tuesday, according to the IBSF. As of now, the first events are in late November in Sigulda, Latvia.

At last season’s world championships, also in Altenberg, Germany won all but one gold medal. American Kaillie Humphries took the two-woman bobsled title in her first season since switching from Canada.

Lake Placid is now expected to host the 2025 World Bobsled and Skeleton Championships.

MORE: How the first Black male U.S. Winter Olympians changed bobsled

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Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled world title in first season for U.S.

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Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries won a bobsled world title in her first season since switching allegiance from Canada to the U.S., ending recent German dominance.

Humphries, with brakewoman Lauren Gibbs, edged German junior world champ Kim Kalicki by .37 of a second combining times from four runs between Friday and Saturday in Altenberg, Germany.

“I love this track. It’s very challenging, one of the hardest in the world,” Humphries said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “It demands a lot of focus, a lot of respect every minute you’re on that track. So to be able to win here, I know the Germans and the spectators, everybody, have worked so hard and this week, no exceptions. I’m proud of all of the girls.”

Canadian Christine de Bruin took bronze for a second straight year. Full results are here.

Humphries, who married a former U.S. bobsledder, was released by Canada in September after filing verbal abuse and harassment claims against a coach, saying she no longer felt safe with the program. As a Canadian, Humphries won 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles, plus 2012 and 2013 World titles.

Humphries joined German Sandra Kiriasis as the only female drivers to win three world titles. She is already the only female driver with multiple Olympic titles.

German Mariama Jamanka, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, finished fourth in Altenberg.

Triple U.S. Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor didn’t compete as she sits out the season due to pregnancy. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs teamed for silver in PyeongChang.

The world championships continue Sunday with the conclusion of the two-man competition. German Francesco Friedrich, eyeing his sixth straight world title, leads after the first two of four runs.

A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

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