Humphries and Moyse add up to gold by doing the little things right
The littlest things have great value to Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse.
Their bobsleigh was golden by 10 one-hundredths. No need to give you a space of time analogy, it’s barely anything. How they achieved that margin is the sum of many even smaller advantages.
Humphries and Moyse are examples of the intensity found at a bobsleigh race. They swell into a space, with their expressive personalities. Heather provides colour, she seems to enjoy describing an experience, reaching back and plucking memories for display. Her pilot Humphries, maybe trained by her role, is more analytical.
The ‘battle royale’ in women’s bobsleigh, (as they call it), went down last night and Canada won. Behind after the first day, Humphries made up the distance on the final runs, something she has done before. “It’s taken me eight years to figure out what I need individually as a pilot and how to get there,” she says of her experience, “I never give up. I also believe that no matter what level I achieve in sport, there’s always room to grow and learn and be better. I’m not happy unless it’s perfect.”
Before the race, when the tension was highest, Moyse and Humphries sang Alicia Keys, ‘Girl on Fire’, they also admitted to briefly dancing. Then they locked in and closed out their final run to repeat as Olympic champions. On the way down from the mountain after their win they blasted music and sang again. The balance between focused and goofy is something they’ve honed.
“Heather and I are both extreme professionals in what we do and it’s always about high performance. Neither of us question that. The fun part comes in between all the other high performance stuff and the fun part is really what bonds us and keeps us together,” says Humphries.
They’ve also had access to other Olympic legends, who have been guides along the way. Pierre Lueders helped Kaillie tune her drive. Marnie McBean, Cindy Klassen and Catriona Le May Doan have offered their methods to handle the Olympic pressures.
Humphries uses what she can and re-engineers the rest, “When I don’t know I just ask them and I try it, and if it works great and if it doesn’t then I adopt it for how it can work for me specifically.”
Their methods are as varied as their song choices. Moyse singles out her inspirational music from highs to lows, world-success or rehab from surgery. Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ made the list, so did Macklemore’s ‘Can’t Hold Us’. And no one could. Even with Elana Meyers in the lead, it didn’t feel like Humphries was going to have any trouble catching the American. One little thing after another fell into place equaling those small chunks of time.
The women of CAN-1 are relaxed now. It’s not time for reflection yet but now they have two Olympic gold medals to compare, “It’s not greater or less. It’s which kid do you love more, there isn’t an answer for it. These games are completely different children in our eyes we love them all the same,” she says smiling.
Moyse will take a break after these Olympic Games, even skipping the summer rugby season, a sport she also plays at a world level. They both smile in front of cameras today, Canada’s greatest women bobsledders. All those little things added up to that, which is, an undeniably huge accomplishment.