With the year coming to a close, Olympic.ca will look back at 16 of the most memorable Team Canada stories of 2016. As a new “16 of ‘16” story is revealed daily, you can find the entire series here.
Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries is set on changing the world of women’s bobsleigh one race at a time.
In addition to dominating the 2015-16 World Cup circuit – winning eight medals and the coveted crystal globe with partner Melissa Lotholz – Humphries piloted Canada to women’s bobsleigh history.
At last year’s World Cup stop in Lake Placid, Humphries, Lotholz, Cynthia Appiah and Genevieve Thibault made history as the first all-women crew to compete in a four-man event. The squad raced alongside 16 all-men crews, including two Canadian men’s teams.
“The whole point of me competing with the guys in the first place was to show that girls can do four-man,” said Humphries in Lake Placid. “We’ve always wanted to have our own four-woman event.”
WATCH: First-ever all-women crew make history
Historically women’s bobsleigh has been the only event for female racers, while males competed in both two-man and four-man competitions. Although the four-woman is still not an official event on the World Cup circuit, a four-woman exhibition race was held at the at the 2016 world championships in Igls, Austria, a month after the Canadians’ historic race.
Since then Humphries continues to expand the world of women’s bobsleigh in Canada, inviting Team Canada Olympians to training camps.
Olympic rugby bronze medallists Jen Kish and Karen Paquin, both tried their luck at a Calgary bobsleigh camp. Most recently Humphries worked with Rio 2016 100mh finalist Phylicia George, who already has her eyes set on being a brakeman at PyeongChang 2018.
With fourteen months the next winter Games, the women’s bobsleigh competition will be one to watch, especially with Humphries looking for her third straight Olympic gold medal.