Bobsledder Kaillie Humphries discussed her mental health heading into the 2022 Winter Olympics following some setbacks.
Humphries won three medals — two gold and a bronze — while representing Canada before changing her team affiliation in 2018 to Team USA, alleging harassment by Canadian coach Todd Hays. She was officially sworn in as a naturalized U.S. citizen in December 2021, just in time to compete in Beijing.
She characterized her journey to these Olympics as having frustrations and challenges, but said her mental health is an “eight out of 10.”
Upon arriving in Beijing, Humphries was placed in close-contact protocol, requiring her to spend seven days in a hotel room alone, despite having tested positive for COVID-19 within the past month. However, her teammates signed a waiver that permitted her to train at the bobsledding track.
Humphries credited Team USA and the U.S. Olympic Committee for their support, saying they have provided her with everything she needs to be successful in competition.
The American bobsledding team was recently shaken by the news that three-time medalist Elana Meyers Taylor tested positive on Jan. 27, two days after arriving in Beijing. Meyers Taylor was originally selected to serve as one of two flagbearers for the opening ceremony, however speed skater Brittany Bowe, who received the second-most votes, stepped up in her absence. Meyers Taylor has since tested negative and been cleared to return to competition.
While Humphries said the experience navigating COVID-19 restrictions has been frustrating, she did not place blame on any particular country, instead saying “every single nation around the world is finding this challenging.”
Humphries spoke of the impact the COVID-19 policies have on the Olympic experience, saying quarantine and isolation leads to an increased sense of “segregation” among athletes and said she’s learning how to “be OK with that and still be able to move forward.”