Best Health sat down with two-time Olympic bobsleigh champion Kaillie Humphries to talk about her gold medal-winning moment, the future of the sport and what’s next for the 28-year-old Calgarian.
Best Health: How did winning in Sochi compare to your win in Vancouver 2010?
Kaillie Humphries: Both Olympics were completely different. This one was a lot more emotional and intense up until the very last run, whereas in Vancouver we [Humphries and brakeman, Heather Moyse] were leading in all the races and all the runs up until the very end. In 2010, we had home-field advantage and it felt more comfortable. The pressure was different in Russia. But we went into it knowing we had done everything we could possibly do. We started happy and we were able to leave happy and that was awesome.
BH: You and Heather were chosen as the flag-bearers for the closing ceremonies. What did that experience mean to you?
KH: Carrying the flag was unreal. The Games for me just continued to get better and better! I felt like the whole country was behind me, the outpouring of support was unbelievable. Overall, it was an amazing experience.
BH: You’re leading the charge to get women to take part in four-man bobsleigh at the next Olympics. Why is this important to you?
KH: I feel strongly about it. There are lots of things in this sport that I want to change, or influence. It’s one thing to realize my own dreams, but I’ve had a lot of support and the right people behind me in order to do that, and my goals don’t stop. They continue and they grow. I’m now in a position where I’ve got a voice and I can make a difference and I don’t want to waste that, so I’m doing what I can.
BH: How does it feel to be an Olympic champion again?
KH: Right now, I’m living in the moment and sharing it with as many people as I can. It’s been a long journey, and a long process. I feel that I’m growing and learning with each and every race. The support I’ve had from my sponsors, including Procter & Gamble, has allowed me to set everything at a higher bar and be at a different level. I’m adapting to that and rising to the challenge.
(Photo: Best Health’s Associate Editor, Joana Lourenço, holds up Kaillie’s two Olympic gold medals. Also pictured is Kaillie’s proud mom, Cheryl.)
The Paralympic Winter Games start today! We’re cheering on our Canadian Paralympians, including sledge hockey captain, Greg Westlake, who is featured in Best Health’s March/April issue (on newsstands now). Go, Canada, go!