Bobsledder Kaillie Humphries is not dropping her plans to slide for USA Bobsled, even after a Canadian court Tuesday declined to order that country’s sliding federation to give the two-time Olympic gold medallist a release allowing her to join the American team.
Humphries plans to file an appeal with Canada’s Sports Dispute Resolution Center, seeking that release. And her lawyer, Jeffrey Rath, said Humphries also may ask the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation if the release is even necessary since she is no longer under contract with the Canadian federation.
“I think there’s a good argument that a release isn’t even required,” Rath said.
Humphries needs to obtain the release by Sept. 30 in order to be eligible to slide for the U.S. this season. She did not compete last season after filing a complaint with Canadian officials, contending that she had been verbally and mentally abused by Canada bobsled coach Todd Hays — a former Olympic driver for the U.S.
“Kaillie is obviously a world and Olympic champion. We want Kaillie in our program,” Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton high-performance director Chris Le Bihan told reporters Tuesday at the courthouse in Calgary, Alberta, where Humphries’ request for an injunction was denied. “Kaillie is obviously going to be a threat in the next Olympics and there’s nothing more that we like to see other than Canadians standing on the podium.”
Humphries won Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014, and took bronze in 2018.
“This entire situation is very unfortunate for everyone involved, and for our sport in Canada,” Hays said in a release distributed by Canadian officials. “There are no winners when your sport is in the public eye like this.”
Athletes getting releases to compete for other countries is not uncommon, and Humphries would be eligible to slide for the U.S. in part because she married an American last weekend — former bobsledder Travis Armbruster.
She is still planning to compete as a guest at USA Bobsled’s push championships on Thursday in Lake Placid, New York.