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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VIDEO: Steven Holcomb’s mother’s speech after accepting Olympic medals

2020 World Bobsled, Skeleton Championships TV, live stream schedule

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NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will air daily coverage of the world bobsled and skeleton championship starting Friday in Altenberg, Germany.

Headliners include Kaillie Humphries, the two-time Canadian Olympic bobsled champion finishing her first season competing for the U.S.

Humphries, who married a former U.S. bobsledder, was released by the Canadian federation in September after filing verbal abuse and harassment claims against a coach, saying she no longer felt safe with the program.

She won four of her seven World Cup starts this season and will race at worlds with Olympic silver medalist brakewoman Lauren Gibbs. Gibbs made the podium in PyeongChang with Elana Meyers Taylor, who is not competing this season due to pregnancy.

Humphries’ top competition on Friday and Saturday should be PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist Mariama Jamanka and Stephanie Schneider, both from host Germany. Humphries earned two world titles, in 2012 and 2013.

German Francesco Friedrich looks to continue his domination of the two- and four-man events. He swept the World Cup titles in each discipline the last two seasons, earned gold medals in each at the PyeongChang Olympics and won both titles at the last two worlds in 2017 and 2019.

Latvian Martins Dukurs, one of the greatest athletes yet to win an Olympic gold medal, can take his seventh world title in skeleton on the second weekend of competition in Altenberg. Dukurs is coming off his ninth World Cup season title, bettering the last two Olympic champions — Russian Alexander Tretiakov and South Korean Yun Sungbin.

Germans have dominated women’s skeleton since the retirement of 2014 and 2018 Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain. Tina Hermann is the defending world champion. Jacqueline Loelling is the reigning World Cup champion

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VIDEO: Steven Holcomb’s mother’s speech after accepting Olympic medals

2020 World Bobsled and Skeleton Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Time (ET) Event Network
Feb. 21 8 a.m. Women’s Bobsled Run 1 Olympic Channel | STREAM
9:30 a.m. Women’s Bobsled Run 2 Olympic Channel | STREAM
Feb. 22 5:30 a.m. Two-Man Bobsled Run 1 OlympicChannel.com | STREAM
7 a.m. Two-Man Bobsled Run 2 OlympicChannel.com | STREAM
9:30 a.m. Women’s Bobsled Run 3 OlympicChannel.com | STREAM
11 a.m. Women’s Bobsled Run 4 OlympicChannel.com | STREAM
3:30 p.m.* Two-Man Bobsled Run 1 Olympic Channel | STREAM
4:30 p.m.* Two-Man Bobsled Run 2 Olympic Channel | STREAM
5:30 p.m.* Women’s Bobsled Run 3 Olympic Channel | STREAM
6:30 p.m.* Women’s Bobsled Run 4 Olympic Channel | STREAM
Feb. 23 1:30 a.m.* Women’s Bobsled Run 4 NBCSN | STREAM
8:30 a.m. Two-Man Bobsled Run 3 OlympicChannel.com | STREAM
10 a.m. Two-Man Bobsled Run 4 OlympicChannel.com | STREAM
3 p.m.* Two-Man Bobsled Run 3 Olympic Channel | STREAM
4 p.m.* Two-Man Bobsled Run 4 Olympic Channel | STREAM
Feb. 24 2 a.m.* Two-Man Bobsled Run 4 NBCSN | STREAM
Feb. 27 4 a.m. Men’s Skeleton Run 1 Olympic Channel | STREAM
6 a.m. Men’s Skeleton Run 2 Olympic Channel | STREAM
Feb. 28 3:30 a.m. Women’s Skeleton Run 1 Olympic Channel | STREAM
5 a.m. Women’s Skeleton Run 2 Olympic Channel | STREAM
7 a.m. Men’s Skeleton Run 3 Olympic Channel | STREAM
8:30 a.m. Men’s Skeleton Run 4 Olympic Channel | STREAM
Feb. 29 3:30 a.m. Women’s Skeleton Run 3 Olympic Channel | STREAM
5 a.m. Women’s Skeleton Run 4 OlympicChannel.com | STREAM
6:30 a.m.* Women’s Skeleton Run 4 Olympic Channel | STREAM
7:30 a.m. Four-Man Bobsled Run 1 Olympic Channel | STREAM
9 a.m. Four-Man Bobsled Run 2 Olympic Channel | STREAM
March 1 4 a.m. Team Event Olympic Channel | STREAM
7 a.m. Four-Man Bobsled Run 3 OlympicChannel.com | STREAM
8:30 a.m. Four-Man Bobsled Run 4 OlympicChannel.com | STREAM
12:30 p.m.* Four-Man Bobsled Run 3 Olympic Channel | STREAM
1:30 p.m.* Four-Man Bobsled Run 4 Olympic Channel | STREAM
March 2 1:30 a.m.* Four-Man Bobsled Run 4 NBCSN | STREAM

*Delayed broadcast

Steven Holcomb’s mother honors son, teammates with speech after accepting Olympic silver medals

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Steven Holcomb‘s teammates and his family were honored in a medal reallocation ceremony at the Team USA Awards last month, after being upgraded to Sochi Olympic silver medals after the disqualifications of Russian sleds due to doping.

Holcomb, who in 2010 drove the first U.S. bobsled to Olympic gold in 62 years, died in his sleep in May 2017 at age 37.

In 2014, Holcomb and Steven Langton rode to two-man bronze. Holcomb, Langton, Curt Tomasevicz and Chris Fogt teamed for four-man bronze. The Russian sleds that originally finished first were later disqualified for doping and the results adjusted.

Holcomb’s mother, Jean Schaefer, capped the ceremony with a speech in front of a room of Olympians and Paralympians. The full transcript from her speech at the awards show, which aired on NBC on Sunday:

I am honored to be the voice of Steven tonight. I tried to imagine what Steven would say and what he would be feeling. I think Steven would be feeling extreme excitement and pride — silver medals for his team and for his country. The reward of dedication and just plain hard work. A sense of satisfaction to be recognized as competitors with integrity. A deep gratitude to his teammates, Chris, Steve, Curt, with whom he shares this honor. Gratitude. Gratitude to the team behind the team, the USOPC. Gratitude to the Bo-Dyn project, who first recognized there is a need for a competitive bobsled. Gratitude to [former U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton CEO] Darrin Steele for his leadership and his support. Gratitude to Coach Brian Shimer, who is so much more to Steven than just a coach. He’s a true friend. And, finally, gratitude to [U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Marketing and Communications Director] Amanda Bird, who always kept his family up to date. Finally, I’d like to share with you: these are the flowers from the medal ceremony in Sochi. They were carefully packed in a silver shoe box — yes, silver — to journey all the way from Russia to Steven’s mom in Colorado. They say so much about Steven Holcomb as a man. He was thoughtful, dedicated, kind. A man who had a passion for the bobsled. We love you, Steven, and we miss you. Thank you.

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