Two-sport Olympian Lolo Jones won the first world championship bobsledding competition of her career Saturday alongside Canadian bobsledding legend Kaillie Humphries. The two competed under Team USA at the IBSF Skeleton and Bobsleigh World Championships in Altenberg, Germany, edging out German squad Kim Kalicki and Ann-Christin Strack by 0.35 seconds.
It has been 11 years since Jones last won a world championship, but that was for the 60 meter hurdles. Humphries became the first woman to win four world bobsled titles.
“I didn’t think I would be emotional,” Jones said. “I don’t know if the snow was hitting me at the braking stretch or if I was crying, but I think I was crying.”
It was certainly an incredible moment for the 38-year-old who hit back at critics shortly after winning her first championship.
Humphries, a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, was a dominant bobsledder for Canada in the Vancouver and Sochi Olympics and is no secret to firsts in her category of the sport. In the latter of the two Winter Games, she became the first woman to defend her gold medal title. She made the switch to the United States following allegations of abuse against Team Canada’s coach.
“It’s such a huge relief,” Humphries said. “This was a giant team effort. To be able to cross the finish line and see that number one and know everything worked according to plan is the biggest relief ever. There’s a huge wave of happiness and elation that comes over you. It’s super cool to share this with Lolo and with Team USA.”
Her focus now is the 2022 Beijing Games, and being part of this world title obviously suggests she can help the U.S. be a serious medal contender there.
“I was the first hurdler to win back-to-back golds indoor so I knew the weight — I had literally been in that those shoes — that she was carrying,” Jones said. “I really just credit Kaillie a lot for just being the vet that she is, holding it all together, staying composed and then just executing. I mean, she deserves this gold medal. She works super hard for it. And she just really killed it.”
Humphries and Jones went into the final heat with a lead of 0.29 seconds over Kalicki and Strack, and the rate of snowfall — which slows sleds down as it begins to coat tracks — was increasing as the final run went along.
Not a problem. Humphries never had any issues in that final run. She crossed the finish line, threw her fists into the air and then turned around to give Jones a few congratulatory smacks on the helmet.
“To be able to share this moment with her … it just feels really special to know she had faith in me,” Humphries said.
It was the 11th world bobsled title for the U.S.
Holcomb won three of those gold medals — and his presence was still felt this year as well.
“You get that special feeling, like Holcy is still part of this,” U.S. assistant coach Brian Shimer said. “Coming into this and knowing she was running those runners today … pretty special.”
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Source CBS & APF News