By: Kirsten Thomas
This year, in Beijing, a new sliding event has been created dubbed “Monobob” where one person — instead of a team of 2-4 people — pilots the sled down the course. It has been deemed the most difficult event in bobsled because the weight and balance of the sled is more difficult to control with a single person. Athletes reach speeds of over 70 miles per hour as they speed down the icey track.
This year, two Americans took first and second place in this new event. The gold medal went to Kaillie Humphries with a time of 4:19:27. In previous Olympic games, Humphries won 3 medals– two of them gold — for her birth country of Canada. In December 2021, she achieved her longtime goal of becoming a US citizen, just in time to be able to compete for the US.
Instead of being rivals at these games, eight-time World Champion Elena Meyers Taylor became her teammate at these games. Meyers Taylor competed in this event with a character drawing of her son on her shoe. She was the only bobsled athlete to return to the Olympics after childbirth, making her second place finish all the more impressive.
Bobsled has been a staple event of the winter Olympic games since its introduction in 1924. It originally began as a four-man sport, and later evolved into two man sledding. However, it wasn’t until 1999 that the Olympic Committee added a women’s division for bobsled. The event made its debut at the 2002 games in Salt Lake City. Since then, Meyers Taylor and Humphries have been consistently at the top of their games, racking up multiple Olympics each. Now teammates, Team USA is stronger than ever in the sport.