Canadian de Bruin offers bronze in monobob as Humphries wins gold at first Olympics with USA


Canadian Christine de Bruin won bronze in her Olympic monobob debut on Monday in Beijing.

She could only watch former national teammate Kaillie Humphries run away with the gold at the National Sliding Centre.

Humphries, who represented Canada at the previous three Games before parting ways with the United States, won with a total time of four minutes 19.27 seconds, more than a second ahead of her teammate. American Elana Meyers Taylor, who won silver at 4: 20.81.

De Bruin, 32, took silver in three of four runs, but a strong closing heat from Meyers Taylor propelled her to bronze with a time of 4:21.03.

WATCH | De Bruin wins bronze in monobob:

Alberta’s Christine de Bruin wins bronze medal in monobob

Christine de Bruin of Stony Plain, Alta., won the bronze medal in the Olympic monobob debut at Beijing 2022. 4:15

Calgary-born Humphries led from start to finish after setting a track record in her first race at 1:04.44. seconds.

But for de Bruin, the rest of the podium didn’t matter.

“I’m in shock. I don’t even know if I can answer the questions right now. I can’t believe this just happened,” de Bruin told CBC’s Marivel Taruc immediately after the race. .

The Canadian has come a long way after finishing last in her first-ever World Cup monobob race.

“Going bronze right now is just crazy,” she said.

Left to right, Meyers Taylor, Humphries and de Bruin pose with their monobob medals. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

It’s the second Olympics for de Bruin, who placed seventh in both women’s in 2018. It’s only in the past four years that she’s really started to cement herself among podium contenders in sport, including two World Cup monobob gold medals this season.

She will team up with brakeman Kristen Bujnowski in the women’s duet, which kicks off Feb. 18.

But it was one thing at a time for de Bruin, who immediately focused on doping control and receiving her medal, which has since been placed around her neck.

“It’s great. It’s heavy. It’s nice,” she said.

Humphries, left, celebrates with Meyers Taylor, right, after the race. (Adam Jolie/Getty Images)

Later Monday, on Valentine’s Day in Beijing, she will cheer from the touchline as her husband, Ivo de Bruin, competes for the Netherlands in the two-man bobsleigh heats.

Meyers Taylor is now a four-time medalist, giving her the most in U.S. bobsleigh history – breaking a tie with three others, including the great Steven Holcomb – and tying her for sixth in Olympic Games history in United States winter.

“There is a good chance that [the two-woman race is] my last, so I’m really going to enjoy it,” Meyers Taylor said. “Everything has to come to an end, and I’ve had an incredible journey.”

Cynthia Appiah of Toronto finished eighth on the 1,615-metre, 16-turn track located about 90 kilometers north of Beijing.

The addition of monobob to the Olympic program made the sport of bobsleigh gender neutral, with men racing in the four-man and two-man and the women in the two-man and monobob.

Humphries claims victory in new colors

Humphries, 36, won gold medals in the women’s two-man for Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, and captured bronze four years ago in Pyeongchang.

But shortly after her final podium appearance, she sued for her release from Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton (BCS), claiming a coach and management had violated the organization’s own anti-harassment policies. . A month later, a court ruled that BCS had the discretion to decide whether or not to allow any of its athletes to compete for another country. Shortly after, BCS released Humphries to slide for the United States

The next challenge was to obtain American citizenship, a step mandated in almost all cases by the International Olympic Committee.

Humphries, who lives in San Diego where she is married to former American bobsledder Travis Armbruster, was sworn in as a citizen with little time to spare in December.

“The ultimate success is being able to stand on the podium and sing my national anthem, sing the Star-Spangled Banner now,” Humphries told CBC Sports ahead of those Olympics.

And she will have the opportunity to do so again in the women’s two-man event, where most of the same top athletes, including the three medalists, will compete.

Humphries said ahead of the Games that she would enjoy the time with her new teammates.

“And even though, as I said, the clothes look different, the mentality itself is very much like a competitor’s mindset and it’s me against the world,” she said.

The “whole world” is now fully aware.

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