Sports

Pre-race jitters, bobsled crash in World Cup training run

PARK CITY, Utah — During official training the day before the International Bobsleigh Skeleton Federation (IBSF) BMW Park City World Cup, all bobsled athletes were able to walk away after a sled crashed on the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) track. This video comes, in part, courtesy of IBSF TV Live Stream.

Mere minutes prior to the commotion of the international sled going over, American Kaillie Humphries, fresh off winning Team USA gold in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, spoke to TownLift about the upcoming race. “It’s so exciting to be back here competing on the Park City track. There are lots of sliders, and the weather so far has cooperated; the track crew has put in a lot of hard work and long hours to make sure the ice is in good shape for us.”

The pandemic had recently prohibited spectators at the Games. “It’s been three years since we’ve raced at this awesome venue. Family members are driving all the way out from Kansas to watch, and this will be their first experience in real life,” she said. 

Humphries, right. Photo: Michele Roepke.

Humphries brought up the fact that travel logistics delayed the sleds’ arrival in Park City for two extra days, saying, “That’s definitely taken its toll.” Thus, her confidence hasn’t diminished.

The United States Bobsled Skeleton Federation (USABS) has two female bobsledders from Northern Utah, Kaysha Love from Herriman and Rylie Mathews from Grantsville. 

Beijing Olympian Love said, “I’m thrilled to be back here not only representing our country but our beautiful state as well. There’s nothing like being able to compete on your home track.” She also discussed how the pandemic had disturbed international support when asked if many friends and family members would be making the short drive up from the Salt Lake Valley. “Everyone has been so supportive, and they just are all so excited to actually be able to be here in person and not supporting me just over Zoom,” she said.

The two are in one two-woman sled together; Mathews the brakeperson, who was scouted to bobsledding from the sport of weightlifting, said, “I’m really looking forward having my family so close to be able to see the Park City races, and they get to experience the amazing atmosphere of a World Cup and see all the other incredible international athletes compete.”

Love, Left. Mathews, Right. Photo: Michele Roepke

Sue Kapis has been an international bobsled official for about as long as she’s been an executive with the Park City Chamber Bureau. For multiple Olympics, she has represented the USA trackside. She said, “Hosting a World Cup back on home ice is fantastic. It’s so nice having the entire sliding community come together in Park City.” She’s overseeing approximately a dozen local volunteers and mentioned that it’s not too late for more to sign up for this multi-day event or any upcoming races in a variety of positions, no experience necessary. To do so, contact the UOP front office. 

Spectators are encouraged to come out and watch. Click here for the full World Cup schedule.

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