Reunited and it feels so good!
There are probably no song lyrics more fitting to the bobsleigh partnership of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse. Having last competed together in February 2011 when they won world championship bronze, Humphries and Moyse picked up right where they left off: standing on a podium. This time it was World Cup gold in Calgary, earning the Bobsleigh Canada stars Athlete of the Week honours.
In their opening run of the season opener, the duo set a Calgary track start record of 5.48 seconds. When that was topped by an American sled, Humphries and Moyse quickly reclaimed the record in their second run with a start of 5.45 seconds. In that final run they also set a Canadian track record of 55.89 seconds to claim the gold medal by more than half a second.
“When Heather came back this summer, everything just felt so comfortable right away and I have nothing to worry about,” said Humphries. “We had two awesome pushes today that surpassed my expectations and it is great to start the season with a win.”
“Of course those records matter,” said Moyse. “There are steps to every race and I thrive on setting start records and do my job to help put Kaillie in a better position going down the track. It is awesome to be back and it just felt like an old shoe today.”
This was the 14th straight podium finish for Humphries in World Cup/world championship competition, a streak that includes 11 victories, two of which are world championship titles.
Moyse has returned to the Canadian bobsleigh team after two seasons away, during which she underwent hip surgery last November and then won a silver medal with Canada at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens. The remarkable multi-sport athlete set personal best start records this fall and a week before the World Cup she won the first ever WinSport World Push Challenge, defeating an international field of elite bobsleigh pushers.
And the pressure will continue to rise as February draws closer and so does the defence of their Olympic gold medal in Sochi.
“It is a game within the game between us and the Americans and the Germans at the start. We have great respect for them and it will be like this all year,” said Humphries. “We know we have a target on our backs. Our goal is to keep doing our job and hopefully keep winning.”
The World Cup moves to Park City, Utah this week followed by Lake Placid, New York before a short Christmas break after which the circuit shifts to Europe.