CARLSBAD, Calif.—Officially an American citizen for just a few days, Carlsbad resident Kaillie Humphries teamed with Kaysha Love and won the two-woman bobsled World Cup race on Dec. 5 in Altenberg, Germany, her second victory in two days.
Humphries piloted her sled to the second-fastest time on the first run, 56.99 seconds, 0.02 seconds behind the German duo of Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi. On the second run, the Americans had a slower start time and slower times than the Germans at each of the four intervals, but completed the distance between the fourth interval and finish line 0.08 seconds faster than the Germans to win the race by 0.04 seconds.
The American sled completed the second run in 57.11 for a two-run time of 1:54.10. Nolte and Levi were second in 1:54.14, including 57.17 on the second run.
“I was able to rely on my experience over these last two days,” said Humphries, who won the Women’s Monobob World Series race Saturday. “I’ve raced here many years and I’ve worked extremely hard to be able to be at this level. What you saw was years and years of trial and error coming together, and an absolutely amazing team.”
Sunday’s race was Love’s second World Cup race and first victory. The 24-year-old from Herriman, Utah is in her first year in the sport. She was discovered through the virtual combine on GMTM.com, the website of a social network for athletes, coaches, trainers, and industry staff that includes virtual combines.
Humphries won both races despite having to interrupt her training Wednesday to fly to California to become an American citizen, enabling her to compete for the U.S. in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Humphries won Olympic gold medals for her native Canada in the two-woman bobsled in 2010 and 2014 and a bronze in the event in 2018, along with two world championships. She switched to representing the U.S. in 2019 because of abuse and harassment she claims she faced from the Canadian bobsled federation.
Humphries became eligible to compete for the U.S. in World Cup and world championship events as a green card holder following her marriage in 2019 to Travis Armbruster, a former U.S. men’s bobsledder. However, to compete in the Olympics for the U.S., she had to have an American passport, which is limited to U.S. citizens.
The coronavirus pandemic presented challenges to Humphries’ attempt to become a citizen, including impacting required in-person meeting dates.
The 36-year-old Humphries completed the citizenship process with a meeting and swearing-in ceremony Thursday in San Diego, after flying on Wednesday to Los Angeles from Germany, where she was preparing for Saturday and Sunday’s races, then driving to her Carlsbad home.
“I’m more emotional than I thought I would be,” Humphries said Thursday. “Even though you believe in your application and you know it meets the requirements, you don’t know.
“When she came back in and said ‘Yes, I’m approving your application for citizenship,’ then it was real. It was a long journey, this has been a team effort and feels amazing to have the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
After becoming a citizen, Humphries flew to Frankfurt, Germany Thursday afternoon, then took a connecting flight to Dresden to resume preparations for the weekend races.
Humphries credited her attorney, John Exner, and a dedicated group of supporters who helped guide her application process and led to the successful result. She also received support from Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano, whose district includes Carlsbad, and Sens. Alex Padilla, D-California, Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York.