Kaillie Humphries writes to Canada: ‘Thank you’

Kaillie Humphries writes to Canada: ‘Thank you’

Bobsledder Kaillie Humphries wrote an open letter to Canada on Sunday, calling the series of events that ultimately led to the Canadian bobsled team giving her the release she sought in order to compete for the United States “the most difficult process” of her life.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist did not mention her plans to race for the U.S. in the letter. Instead, she thanked Canada for its support and expressed disappointment that she will no longer compete for her country.

“Dear Canada, Thank You,” Humphries wrote. “I can never express in words the deep love and gratitude I have for this country and all my fellow Canadians that have supported me over the years. Today I don’t know how to feel. While I am very happy this purgatory has ended … I am also very sad to not compete under my flag any longer.”

Canada decided to release Humphries on Saturday, ending a saga where the relationship with its most decorated bobsledder was clearly fractured beyond repair. Humphries asked for her release in early August, and needed it by Monday in order to have any shot of competing for the U.S. this season.

Humphries did not slide last season after filing a harassment complaint with Canadian officials, largely over what she described as verbal and mental abuse by Canada coach Todd Hays — a former U.S. Olympian in bobsled. If she makes the U.S. team, which is expected to be largely a formality, she would be eligible to compete on the World Cup circuit for the Americans starting this fall.

In addition to the Olympic golds, Humphries also won an Olympic bronze, two world championships, four overall World Cup championships and 48 World Cup medals for Canada over 11 seasons. She is eligible to compete for the U.S. in part because she married an American, former bobsledder Travis Armbruster, earlier this month.

“It has been my pleasure and the greatest honour of my life to represent you on the world’s stage wearing the maple leaf,” Humphries wrote in her letter to Canada. “No words can adequately describe what is going through my head and my heart. Some of my greatest memories and triumphs have been standing on top of the Podium, singing the words to our national anthem. ‘True North strong and free’ will forever be ingrained as the foundation from which I was built.”

Humphries also said she hopes other athletes who do not feel they are competing in a safe environment can look at her story as a sign of hope.

“I feel the biggest issue is safety in amateur sports for athletes, being able to compete free from abuse and harassment,” she wrote. “The need to be able to speak up without fear of retribution within the system or the public eye, when things aren’t right, is so desperately important.”

Canadian officials have said they took Humphries’ abuse allegations seriously and investigated fully, but did not find sufficient evidence to support her claims.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance responds to a question during a news conference Friday, June 26, 2020 in Ottawa. Vance is ordering his troops to be ready to pick up COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. and Europe on short notice, and prepare to help distribute the doses while responding to floods and other emergencies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence chief says CAF will be ready after ordering COVID-19 vaccine prep last week

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces received formal orders last week to… Continue reading

Geoff Neville poses for a photo with his sons Casey, 3, left, and Ryder, 6, in this undated handout photo. Geoff Neville is a rotational worker in Newfoundland and Labrador who works in a mine in Nunavut for 14 days in a row and then gets 14 days off to come home and see his family. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Geoff Neville
‘I’d love to be home:’ N.L. rotational workers facing bullying online

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — As Geoff Neville waited this week in a… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti arrives for a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday November 26, 2020. The Liberal government is set to introduce long-awaited legislation today to enshrine the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Bill to enshrine UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is set to introduce long-awaited legislation today… Continue reading

In this Nov. 26, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after participating in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump expected to flex pardon powers on way out door

WASHINGTON — Advocates and lawyers anticipate a flurry of clemency action from… Continue reading

In this March 18, 2019, file photo, the logo for IBM appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. IBM says it is breaking off a $19 billion chunk of its business to focus on cloud computing. The 109-year-old tech company said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, it is spinning off its managed infrastructure services unit into a new public company, temporarily named NewCo. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Phishing ploy targets COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort

BOSTON — IBM security researchers say they have detected a cyberespionage effort… Continue reading

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

Mikael Kingsbury, of Canada, trains during the FIS Freestyle World Cup skiing competition Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Park City, Utah. Kingsbury will miss moguls races for the first time in his World Cup career after suffering a back injury in training on Sunday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Swinger
Canadian moguls star Mikael Kingsbury out four to six weeks with back injury

MONTREAL — Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury will miss moguls races for the first… Continue reading

Detail of James Wilson Morrice's "LaPlage."
James Wilson Morrice canvas outperforms at auction with more than million-dollar sale

A canvas by Montreal-born artist James Wilson Morrice exceeded expectations with a… Continue reading

Bank buildings are photographed in Toronto's financial district on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. International comparisons suggest Canadian financiers are oiling the wheels of the fossil fuel industry at a far greater rate than their peers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
‘Canada really sticks out:’ Studies show banks not so green on climate change

International analyses suggest Canadian financiers are oiling the wheels of the fossil… Continue reading

Goals galore for Ronaldo, Giroud, Neymar in Champions League

Goals galore for Ronaldo, Giroud, Neymar in Champions League

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins is seen at a media availablity to introduce new pitcher Shun Yamaguchi in Toronto on January 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Jays ‘prepared’ if things pick up on free agency and trade fronts this off-season

Jays ‘prepared’ if things pick up on free agency and trade fronts this off-season

Shaquille Murray-Lawrence, left, and teammate Taylor Austin are shown during training in Whistler, B.C., in this undated handout photo. Montreal Allouettes running back Shaquille Murray-Lawrence is used to pysching himself up to sprint down a field, evading a crush of muscled men the entire way. But mentally preparing for his latest venture required bracing for a whole new set of anxieties. As he got ready to hop in a bobsleigh for the first time, Murray-Lawrence knew he'd be zipping down an icy track faster than cars are allowed to travel down most highways. Murrary-Lawrence, 27, is one of three CFL players who joined the national bobsleigh team after the league canceled its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Shaquille Murray-Lawrence
Sliding into a new sport: CFLers turn to bobsled after football season wiped out

Sliding into a new sport: CFLers turn to bobsled after football season wiped out

North Carolina State defensive lineman Daniel Joseph (99) celebrates with linebacker Isaiah Moore after Moore forced a Liberty safety during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Raleigh, N.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Hyman, The News & Observer via AP, Pool
Canadian defensive lineman Daniel Joseph enjoying a banner first campaign at NC State

Canadian defensive lineman Daniel Joseph enjoying a banner first campaign at NC State

A Canadian Pacific Railway employee walks along the side of a locomotive in a marshalling yard in Calgary on May 16, 2012. CP says an investigation is underway following the release of a video showing one of the company's trains running over dozens of pronghorn antelope in southwestern Saskatchewan.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CP investigating after video shows train running over pronghorn antelope herd

CP investigating after video shows train running over pronghorn antelope herd

Most Read