- Written by COURTNEY URBANI COURTNEY URBANI
- Published: 20 December 2013 20 December 2013
Calgarian prepares for Olympic bobsleigh competition
It can all boil down to one thousandth of a second between winning first or second place when it comes to the world of competitive bobsleigh.
Kaillie Humphries says she is ready to prove that she has the speed to bring home gold this February at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Humphries, who was born and raised in Calgary, made Olympic history when she became the first Canadian woman to take home the gold medal in the two-woman bobsleigh at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
"Competing in Vancouver was just an incredible experience. The hard work paid off and it was especially great since it was on home soil," Humphries says.
Humphries added to her record-breaking career in 2012 when she won the World Championship in bobsleigh, another first for a Canadian woman.
Humphries, 28, grew up in Calgary competing in alpine skiing until she was 16. She then turned her interests to bobsleigh and hasn't looked back since.Humphries says she is proud of growing up in Calgary with the legacy of the 1988 Olympic Games, which really allowed her to develop her athletic career.
"I've had access to a lot of amateur sports. Amateur athletics have been in my blood because it is just so accessible here, which has definitely helped bring me to this point."
Humphries adds that the facilities at Canada Olympic Park have been a huge benefit to her training routine.
"The facilities here have really grown and turned into high performance facilities, which is so amazing," she says. "After travelling the world and seeing other training facilities I can come back to Calgary and see that we are now at a point where we have stuff that other nations want. It's just incredible because it is going to allow us to be at a point where we are consistently high-performance."
Before the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia from Feb. 7-23, Humphries and her bobsleigh partner Heather Moyse will compete in the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation's World Cup Tour.
Competition began in Calgary on Nov. 30 and runs until Jan. 26. The tour consists of a circuit of eight bobsleigh tracks in different countries where world-class bobsleigh teams will compete for the championship.
Moyse emphasizes the importance of physical preparation.
"Right now we need to be doing lots of training, lifting weights, sprinting and getting ready in the ice house. It's almost every day, depending on the person because some people need more recovery time than others," Moyse says.
Humphries adds that training becomes more rigid when competition season starts.
During competition season, the duo will complete three official days of training, both on the ice and in the gym. After, they have one day of rest before competition day.
Diet is also a very important aspect of training, Humphries says. While some body types are different, she says her and her partner need to pay attention to what they eat.
"Heather is very lean and pretty jacked, so she can eat all the carbs and sugar she wants. Not me though, I would be huge," Humphries laughs.
She adds that a typical meal consists of a carbohydrate, a lot of meat and fruits and vegetables.
"At the end of the day weight is an issue for us. Not a bad one, but a good one. We can get away with eating most things in order to keep the weight on. Especially since we are out in the cold all the time, long days, constant training, plus travelling," she says.
Road to Sochi
Humphries says competing in Sochi won't be nearly the same as competing in the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Being on her home track and having allies in her corner was a huge benefit in Vancouver, which Humphries says she will have to learn how to cope without in Russia.
"It's going to be difficult challenge. We're going to really have to be able to go with the flow and really just do the very best that we can. That's all we can expect of ourselves," Humphries says.