Kaillie Humphries Wins Gold in Olympic Debut of Women's Monobob, Elana Meyers Taylor Takes Silver

Kaillie Humphries previously told PEOPLE she hoped to "give back to the country that has provided the freedom in order to be able to live my best life"

Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Team USA dominated at the Xiaohaituo Bobsleigh and Luge Track.

Americans Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor took gold and silver, respectively, in women's monobob, which made its Olympic debut at the Beijing Winter Games. Humphries, 36, ended up at the top of the podium with a total time of 4:19.27 and Meyers Taylor, 37, finished second with a combined 4:20.81.

Canada's Christine de Bruin won bronze with 4:21.03.

Monobob requires one athlete to push, drive and brake, and consists of four runs, with final rankings based on the combined time from all four runs.

For Humphries, who has two gold medals in two-man from the 2010 and 2014 Games when she was representing Canada, this 2022 medal is her first gold since she chose to represent the U.S.

"This is for U.S.A. Honestly, thank you guys for supporting, me backing me. This team has been absolutely incredible and I am so honored to bring back the gold medal to the United States of America," Humphries told NBC after the medal ceremony.

Kallie Humphries

The four-time Olympian previously told PEOPLE that her decision to leave the Canadian team was due to coach Todd Hays allegedly mentally and verbally abusing her. Following the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, Humphries filed a formal complaint of mental and verbal abuse against Hays. (Hays, who is still Team Canada's coach, previously denied the accusations.)

With goals to still compete at the Olympic level, she asked to be released from the Canadian program and applied for U.S. citizenship.

In December 2021, Humphries became an American citizen and celebrated the special occasion on Instagram, calling herself "living proof that the American Dream still exists."

"To be a part of a country and an organization that provides me safety, that provides me the mental stability that I need and allows and empowers me to be the best version of myself, I have never felt that the way that I do a part of Team USA," the athlete told PEOPLE last fall.

Kallie Humphries

"From my teammates, from my coaching staff, from the leadership, everybody, I have a say in how I operate, what I need. They trust me that I know what I'm talking about to be the best," Humpries added. "And as a female athlete, that is so empowering. And that provides me [with] so much confidence.

Ultimately, Humphries hopes to "give back to the country that has provided the freedom in order to be able to live my best life." She said "it took a big brave step in order to do it," but is pleased she did.

"I appreciate what [the] U.S.A. has offered and I'm more motivated than ever to do everything to give back to a country that has offered me so much," she said, "and to be able to do that with a teammate who also is very motivated to achieve her own goals and dreams is I think what makes us a strong team as a whole is we have our individuals, but it's not just about us individually."

Humphries added, "It's something greater for this country, which I can always get behind a hundred percent. And I want to be able to bring home two gold medals."

Meanwhile, for Meyers Taylor, it has not been an easy road to silver in Beijing.

The four-time Olympian tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 29, two days after arriving in China. She had to test negative twice, 24 hours apart, to be allowed to compete in her events, which include the two-woman bobsleigh and inaugural women's monobob.

Meyers Taylor was quarantined away from her entire team as well as her husband Nic Taylor (an alternate for the men's bobsled team) and their son Nico, who turns 2 this month and traveled to Beijing with her under exceptions for breastfeeding mothers. All three tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in China, and were required to quarantine separately.

"It really took the entire team, the entire support staff. You know, Kaillie was right. It's really about Team USA and it took every single one of them to get me here," Meyers Taylor told NBC after the medal ceremony, jokingly adding, "I think this is the first medal for the isolation hotel."

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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