Monobob: Team USA’s Humphries, Meyers Taylor go 1-2 at Olympics

Monobob at the 2022 Winter Olympics
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The 2022 Winter Olympics (schedule here) marked the debut of monobob, a new bobsled event. The first ever Olympic medals in women’s monobob were awarded on Sunday night in the United States (Monday morning in Beijing) – just after Super Bowl LVI concluded.

Two Team USA athletes – Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor – claimed gold and silver, marking the U.S. team’s first 1-2 finish in bobsled since 1932. Canada’s Christine de Bruin won bronze.

If you’re still confused about what monobob is or why it’s making its Olympic debut at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, On Her Turf is here to help. See below for an explanation of how monobob works, as well as live updates from the four runs of competition.

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Monobob – Live Updates and Results:

Fourth Run of Women’s Monobob: 

10:00pm ET: In the final run, the top-ranked athlete (based on combined time from the first three runs) starts last. That means Team USA’s Kaillie Humphries – who currently leads by 1.55 seconds – will be the final competitor down the track.

Here’s are the top-10 women heading into the fourth and final monobob run. The athlete with the fastest cumulative time will win the inaugural Olympic gold medal.

  1. Kaillie Humphries (USA)
  2. Christine de Bruin (CAN)
  3. Elana Meyers Taylor (USA)
  4. Laura Nolte (GER)
  5. Breeana Walker (AUS)
  6. Huai Mingming (CHN)
  7. Ying Qing (CHN)
  8. Cynthia Appiah (CAN)
  9. Melanie Hasler (SUI)
  10. Nadezhda Sergeyeva (ROC)

10:15pm ET: While 20 athletes will compete in this fourth and final run, only the final five really have a shot at a medal. Currently in gold-medal position is Kaillie Humphries with a massive lead of 1.55 seconds. That will be nearly impossible for anyone to overcome unless Humphries makes a major mistake.

10:25pm ET: It’s time for the final 10 athletes!

10:36pm ET: Let’s talk about home ice advantage. The 2022 Winter Olympics mark China’s first time competing in a women’s bobsled event, and both of China’s monobob athletes – Huai Mingming and Ying Qing – will finish in the top 10.

10:42pm ET: Germany’s Laura Nolte just posted the second-fastest time of the run to move into first. Only Aussie Breeana Walker went faster in this run. But here comes the final three…

MORE WINTER OLYMPICS COVERAGE: Erin Jackson makes Olympic history with speed skating gold

10:45pm ET: Elana Meyers Taylor is guaranteed at least a bronze! She slides into first with two athletes remaining…

10:47pm ET: The U.S. is guaranteed to win gold in women’s monobob after Canada’s Christine de Bruin slides into second.

10:49pm ET: Team USA finishes 1-2! First time the U.S. finishes 1-2 in a bobsled event since 1932. Kaillie Humphries wins gold, Elana Meyers Taylor gets the silver. Christine de Bruin of Canada will take home bronze.

10:51pm ET: Wow. Humphries’ margin of victory (1.54 seconds) is the largest margin of victory in bobsled since 1980, per NBC Sports’ Nick Zaccardi.

11:03pm ET: All of the records! Here’s some of the history Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor just made at the 2022 Winter Olympics:

  • First U.S. gold in bobsled since 2010
  • First U.S. gold in women’s bobsled since 2002 (the debut of women’s bobsled)
  • Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor extend their lead as the most decorated female bobsledders in Olympic history with four medals each
    • Humphries: 3 gold, 1 bronze
    • Meyers Taylor: 3 silver, 1 bronze
  • By winning gold, Kaillie Humphries is just the second athlete, and first woman, to win winter Olympic gold medals for two distinctly different nations. Short track speed skater Viktor Ahn won three gold medals with South Korea in 2006 before switching affiliations and winning three more gold medals for Russia in 2014.
  • At age 37, Elana Meyers Taylor is the oldest woman to win an Olympic medal in any winter sport, breaking the record 36-year-old Lindsey Jacobellis set earlier in Beijing.
  • At age 37, Elana Meyers Taylor is the oldest woman to win an Olympic bobsled medal of any color.
  • At age 36, Kaillie Humphries is the oldest female gold medalist in the sport of bobsled.

  • By claiming her fourth career Olympic medal, Elana Meyers Taylor is the most decorated U.S. bobsled athlete of all time. It’s an impressive feat given that men have previously had two medal opportunities while Meyers Taylor only had one. (Note: Humphries won her first three medals while competing for Canada. The 2022 Winter Olympics mark Humphries’ fourth Olympic appearance, but first representing the United States. Humphries departed the Canadian federation in 2019 after filing a complaint alleging verbal and mental harassment by Canada’s bobsled coach.)

Video of Kaillie Humphries’ winning run in the Olympic debut of women’s monobob:


A few frequently asked questions about monobob, like: What is monobob?

Women’s monobob is the newest bobsled – also known as “bobsleigh” – event. One athlete pushes, drives, and brakes, though just getting the 365-pound sled to the start line is a team effort.

At the 2022 Winter Olympics, only women will compete in monobob. The event was added as a way to help equalize the men’s and women’s bobsled events, but even with monobob, they aren’t exactly equal. Men compete in a two-man and four-man event, while women have a two-woman and monobob competition.

RELATED: How close are the Winter Olympics to being gender equal?

How do you win in monobob?

Like all other Olympic bobsled events, monobob competition consists of four runs (across two days). Final rankings are determined based on combined time from all four runs.

How much does a bobsled weigh?

A monobob weighs 365 lbs., which is just 10 pounds less than a two-woman sled (375 lbs). That said, monobobs are far less expensive than two-woman sleds: about $15,000 compared to $70,000.

How fast does a bobsled go?

In women’s monobob, athletes competing in Beijing reach upwards of 75 miles per hour by the time they reach the end of the track.

Why was monobob added to the Olympics?

While men have competed in two Olympic bobsled events for nearly a century, thanks to the addition of women’s monobob, the 2022 Winter Olympics will mark the first time that female bobsledders have two medal opportunities.

Female pilots, that is.

But while only one athlete competes in monobob, it isn’t really a one-woman event.

Push athletes (also known as brakemen) help with every aspect of the event, “Except the actual ride down the track,” U.S. pilot Elana Meyers Taylor said.

Meyers Taylor and fellow U.S. driver Kaillie Humphries – the most decorated female bobsledders in Olympic history with three medals each – weren’t particularly happy when monobob was added to the Olympic program. They had instead been advocating for the addition of a four-woman event.

READ MORE ABOUT THE DEBUT OF MONOBOB: Despite the name, monobob is not a one-woman event

Women’s monobob was appealing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because the event arguably allows for more competitive balance between nations. Monobob sleds are far less expensive – and with all sleds produced by the same manufacturer – there is less room for wealthy bobsled nations to pay for technical bells and whistles.

But the additional event has resulted in a different cost, one that falls on the shoulders of the athletes who aren’t even eligible to win a medal in the event.

Female push athletes often spend just as much time preparing for the monobob competition as they do the two-woman event. “We’re increasing the workload, but with less people to do it,” said U.S. push athlete Sylvia Hoffman.

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Bobsled Competition Format:

Start Order:

  • Run 1: The top 10 pilots (based on their international ranking) choose start numbers between 4-13, with the highest-ranked athlete picking first.
  • Run 2: The start order is based on results from the first run. The 20th-ranked athlete starts first, then 19th, and so on.
  • Run 3: The top-ranked pilot after the first two runs starts first. The lowest-ranked pilot goes last.
  • Run 4: In the final run, start order is reversed again. The top-ranked athlete (based on combined time from the first three runs) starts last.

Monobob – Live Updates/Results from Runs 1-3:

 

First Run (8:30pm ET): 

8:32pm ET: Women’s monobob has made its Olympic debut! South Korea’s Kim Yoo-Ran is the first athlete down the track, clocking 1:06.68, an automatic track record.

8:36pm ET: U.S. pilot Elana Meyers Taylor, the top-ranked monobob athlete in the world, is the fourth athlete to go. She has a big skid at the top, but still clocks the fastest time so far (1:05.12). Plenty more athletes to come, though, including…

8:38pm ET: Fellow American Kaillie Humphries is on track! Humphries is making her fourth Olympic appearance in Beijing, but first representing the United States. Humphries comes down into first (1:04.44), despite a few mistakes.

MORE ABOUT KAILLIE HUMPHRIES’ TEAM USA SWITCH: Two days after gaining U.S. citizenship, Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled World Cup

8:45pm ET: Canada’s Christine de Bruin – the seventh starter of the day – slides into second place (tied with Meyers Taylor). De Bruin made her Olympic debut four years ago, finishing seventh in the two-woman event in PyeongChang.

8:48pm ET: Germany’s Laura Nolte with a strong run (1:04.74), sliding into second. Nolte won the gold in this event when it debuted at the Youth Olympic Games in 2016. Current monobob standings are: Humphries, Nolte, and de Bruin and Meyers Taylor tied for third, with 11 athletes still to come in the first run.

8:55pm ET: A few surprises so far… Australia’s Breeana Walker had some slides and skids, as did Germany’s Mariama Jamanka. Both athletes have some work to do in the final three runs to get back into podium contention.

8:57pm ET: China’s Ying Qing slides into fifth (1:05.16) in her Olympic debut. Her countrywoman, Huai Mingming, is currently sixth. While most athletes are still getting to know the Olympic track (guided by a test event in October, plus some training runs in the last week), the host nation clearly has more practice on this track. Heading into the 2022 Winter Olympics, China’s best ever finish in any Olympic bobsled event? Twenty-sixth place, a result achieved by China’s two-man and four-man sleds at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

9:11pm ET: Here is Jamaica’s Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian… Eight years ago, Fenlator piloted the third U.S. sled at the 2014 Sochi Games. She has since switched to representing Jamaica, and four years ago, she piloted Jamaica’s first ever women’s Olympic bobsled team. In the debut of Olympic monobob, Fenlator-Victorian slides into 18th, a full two seconds back from Humphries’ leading time.

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9:15pm ET: That’s it for the first run. The second run begins in less than an hour (10pm eastern, 11am in Beijing). Current standings: 1) Humphries, 2) Nolte, 3) de Bruin and Meyers Taylor (tie). With three runs remaining, there are plenty of athletes in the mix for a spot on the podium. The top eight finishers are all currently within one second of each other.


Second Run (Saturday at 10pm ET): 

10:02pm ET: We are back on track for the second heat of women’s monobob! A quick reminder on the competition format: in run #2, athletes go in reverse order of their ranking from run #1. That means Team USA’s Kaillie Humphries, who leads by 0.30 seconds, will go last.

10:12pm ET: After a tough first run, Germany’s Mariama Jamanka – the defending Olympic gold medalist in the two-woman event – struggles again, her sled fishtailing at moments.

10:15pm ET: Margot Boch, a first-time Olympian for France, takes the lead…. but with the fastest athletes still to come, how long will it hold up?

10:19pm ET: Canada’s Cynthia Appiah was considered a contender in women’s monobob after a strong World Cup season. But the 31-year-old from Toronto is likely off the podium after struggling in her first two runs.

10:22pm ET: Romania’s Andreea Grecu moves into first. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics mark Grecu’s third Olympic appearance, but the 28-year-old is aiming for her best-ever finish after finishing 15th and 17th in 2018 and 2014, respectively.

10:30pm ET: Swiss slider Melanie Hasler slides into first… for now.

10:36pm ET: Talk about home track advantage. Huai Mingming and Ying Qing are both guaranteed to finish the top 10 after day one despite China never having fielded a women’s bobsled team before. With four athletes remaining, Huai is in first while Ying is in fourth.

10:37pm ET: Wow. Canada’s Christine de Bruin with two big runs. Definitely will enter day two in contention for a medal even if she doesn’t finish day one in the top-three.

10:40pm ET: Team USA’s Elana Meyers Taylor, who had a tough start to these 2022 Winter Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, slides into second behind de Bruin.

10:42pm ET: Germany’s Laura Nolte, who was in second after the first run, misses her line near the top of the track and struggles the rest of the way. She squeezes between de Bruin and Meyers Taylor in the standings.

10:44pm ET: A statement day from Kaillie Humphries. With the best lines of any competitor, she posts the fastest times in both runs. She will enter the second day of women’s monobob competition with a massive 1.04-second lead, a huge margin in bobsled.

10:47pm ET: Here are the top 10 athletes after the first two runs.

  1. Kaillie Humphries (USA) – 2:09.10
  2. Christine de Bruin (CAN) +1.04 seconds
  3. Laura Nolte (GER) + 1.22 seconds
  4. Elana Meyers Taylor (USA) +1.32 seconds
  5. Huai Mingming (CHN) + 1.80 seconds
  6. Melanie Hasler (SUI) +1.94 seconds
  7. Breeana Walker (AUS) +1.99 seconds
  8. Ying Qing (CHN) +2.05 seconds
  9. Andreea Grecu (ROU) +2.17 seconds
  10. Cynthia Appiah (CAN) and Margot Boch (FRA) + 2.18 seconds

10:53pm ET: Women’s monobob competition continues on Monday morning in Beijing (Sunday night in the United States). Run three begins at 8:30pm ET, while medals will be awarded at the conclusion of run #4 (10pm ET). A full women’s monobob schedule is below.


Third Run (Sunday at 8:30pm ET): 

8:30pm ET: The first ever medals in women’s monobob will be awarded today. Final rankings will be based on cumulative time from all four runs (lowest combined time wins). Here’s where the rankings stand after the first two runs:

  1. Kaillie Humphries (USA) – 2:09.10
  2. Christine de Bruin (CAN) +1.04 seconds
  3. Laura Nolte (GER) + 1.22 seconds
  4. Elana Meyers Taylor (USA) +1.32 seconds
  5. Huai Mingming (CHN) + 1.80 seconds
  6. Melanie Hasler (SUI) +1.94 seconds
  7. Breeana Walker (AUS) +1.99 seconds
  8. Ying Qing (CHN) +2.05 seconds
  9. Andreea Grecu (ROU) +2.17 seconds
  10. Cynthia Appiah (CAN) and Margot Boch (FRA) + 2.18 seconds

8:33pm ET: Team USA’s Kaillie Humphries, who is in first place after two runs, kicks off the third heat.

8:35pm ET: Canada’s Christine de Bruin slides into second, but she continues to lose time on Humphries.

8:40pm ET: Just outside of the medals after the first two runs, U.S. pilot Elana Meyers Taylor with a very speedy run. Good enough to push her past Germany’s Laura Nolte and into bronze-medal position heading into the medal-deciding run.

8:48pm ET: WOW. Australia’s Breeana Walker was expected to be a medal contender in the Olympic debut of monobob, but after a tough first day, she appeared to be out of the medal mix. But she comes down the track with the second fastest run of the heat so far – behind only Humphries – to move from seventh to fifth in the standings. As it stands now, she is just a half-second off the podium.

8:52pm ET: Because of the way the start order works (fastest athletes go first in run #3), no more athletes in this run are expected to contend for a spot on the Olympic podium in Beijing. With every slider who comes down, Kaillie Humphries just looks more and more impressive. She currently leads the field by 1.55 seconds – a massive lead in bobsled.


Women’s Monobob Schedule – 2022 Winter Olympics

Bobsled Event Date/Time (U.S. Eastern Time)  Date/Time (Beijing, China)  How to Watch
Women’s Monobob (Run 1) 2/12/22 8:30 PM 2/13/22 9:30 AM NBC | Peacock | NBCOlympics.com
Women’s Monobob (Run 2) 2/12/22 10:00 PM 2/13/22 11:00 AM Peacock | NBCOlympics.com
Women’s Monobob (Run 3) 2/13/22 8:30 PM 2/14/22 9:30 AM Peacock | NBCOlympics.com
Women’s Monobob (Run 4) 2/13/22 10:00 PM 2/14/22 11:00 AM NBC | Peacock | NBCOlympics.com

The NBC Olympics research team contributed to this story. 

Justine Wong-Orantes’ atypical path to becoming one of the best liberos in the world

Justine Wong-Orantes hits the ball in the women's semi-final volleyball match between USA and Serbia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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It’s been 20 years since the same nation held both the Olympic and world volleyball titles at the same time, but libero Justine Wong-Orantes is looking to help lead Team USA accomplish that very feat at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland. Competition began on Friday and the U.S. is currently 2-0 after group play wins against Kazakhstan and Canada.

“We’re trying to win, for sure,” Wong-Orantes told On Her Turf. “I think, especially with the new turn of the program and the new year of the quad, we just have a really nice blend of veterans and also newcomers on the team.”

The 14-woman roster for Team USA, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and won its first Olympic title last summer, features six players from that gold-medal-winning team. And while Wong-Orantes is among the 2021 U.S. Olympic team veterans, she’s still a relative newcomer to international play.

The Southern California native enjoyed a notable junior career – she was 12 when she became the youngest female to ever earn an AAA rating in beach volleyball – and was a standout collegian at Nebraska, where she was a member of the 2015 NCAA championship team. But Wong-Orantes followed a different path upon graduation, initially choosing not to go overseas to play professionally.

While she was first selected for the U.S. national team in 2016 and played a handful of international tournaments in the following years, it wasn’t until she started playing professionally in Germany in 2019 that she saw the potential to elevate her position on the roster. In particular, the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics gave her an additional year of overseas experience, which she calls “a blessing in disguise.”

“I just felt like I was still in that developmental stage,” she said. “And a whole year postponement allowed me to go overseas and really get all the touches, all the repetitions, and just kind of expose myself to international volleyball another year. So I was, in hindsight, pretty thankful for that COVID season because I got an extra year under my belt, and I think that just gave me a ton of confidence.”

Ahead of the Olympics, Wong-Orantes earned “best libero” honors at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball National League in Rimini, Italy, which helped secure her spot on the Olympic roster. In Tokyo, she followed up with another standout performance and was named best libero of the Olympic tournament.

As to how the Wong-Orantes transformed into one of the world’s top liberos, she points to her background as a beach volleyball player. She began competing at age 8, and her first partner was Sara Hughes, a star on the AVP Pro Tour who also won two NCAA titles with USC.

“I think having that background and just the court awareness that beach volleyball forces you to have allowed me to really have a good read on the game,” said Wong-Orantes. “I think that’s what makes a great libero is just reading and always being reactive towards the ball.”

Wong-Orantes also credits the assistance of mental coach Sue Enquist, a former UCLA softball coach and U.S. national team coach, who now helps teams work on their culture and relationships. Enquist began working with the U.S. volleyball team during the pandemic and has continued in her role ever since.

“We just worked on a lot of stuff within ourselves, within our program, how to communicate with each other off the court, and I think that honestly propelled us into such a high, high level with how we worked with each other, and then that transferred onto the court,” explained Wong-Orantes, who noted the team has Enquist on speed dial while at the World Championship. “I really commend Sue. I just really give a lot of praise to her because I think our culture was never bad, but I think [she] just transformed into a different level.”

2022-09-26 - FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship 2022 - Day 4
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS – Justine Wong-Orantes (far right) poses for a photo with her U.S. teammates after defeating Canada at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on September 26, 2022. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Wong-Orantes said she and her U.S. teammates are on their toes for the world championships, which features twice as many teams (24) as the Olympics and a “more grueling” format.

“It’s going to be a long tournament, and I think we’re really going to need all 14 of us that are here. I’m pretty certain that, at any given moment, someone’s going to be called on and someone’s going to need to step up in big moments.”

2022 Ascendant LPGA: How to watch, who’s playing in Texas’s annual signature event

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand hits her second shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
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The LPGA make its annual stop in The Colony, Texas, this week for the 10th edition of the Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America, where Thailand’s 19-year-old rookie Atthaya Thitikul comes in hot off her second career win and second playoff victory this season at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

Leading the 132-player field at Old American Golf Club, located at Golf Clubs at The Tribute, are Texas residents and past champions Cheyenne Knight and Angela Stanford. They’ll compete for the $1.7 million prize purse alongside major champions Nelly KordaLydia Ko and Brooke Henderson. Last year’s Ascendant LPGA champion, world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, will not be defending her title after announcing earlier this month she would be missing several weeks due to a nagging wrist injury.

This past weekend in Arkansas, Thitikul took the lead with a 10-under 61 in the second round and shot 68 in the final round to finish regulation tied with Danielle Kang at 17-under 196. Thitikul, who won the JTBC Classic in March in a two-hole playoff vs. Nanna Koerstz Madsen, drained an 8-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to secure the win over Kang.


How to watch the 2022 Ascendant LPGA 

Coverage of the 2022 Ascendant LPGA from Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas, can be found on Golf Channel, with streaming options available any time on any mobile device and online through NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Friday, Sept. 30: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Saturday, Oct. 1: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Sunday, Oct. 2: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel

Who’s playing in the 2022 Ascendant LPGA

Six of the top 10 players in the Rolex World Rankings are among the field in Texas, including:

  • No. 2 Nelly Korda
  • No. 4 Lydia Ko
  • No. 5 Atthaya Thitikul
  • No. 6 Brooke Henderson
  • No. 7 Lexi Thompson
  • No. 10 Nasa Hataoka

A number of local Texans also are in the tournament, headlined by past champions, Angela Stanford (2020) and Cheyenne Knight (2019), and two junior champions of the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship, who are playing on a sponsor exemption: Yunxuan (Michelle) Zhang (2022), a freshman at SMU, and Avery Zweig (2021), a high school sophomore from McKinney, Texas.


Past five champions of The Ascendant LPGA

YEAR WINNER SCORE MARGIN RUNNERUP
2021 Jin Young Ko (South Korea) 16-under 268 1 stroke Matilda Castren
2020 Angela Stanford (USA) 7-under 277 2 strokes So Yeon Ryu, Inbee Park, Yealimi Noh
2019 Cheyenne Knight (USA) 18-under 266 2 strokes Brittany Altomare, Jaye Marie Green
2018 Sung Hyun Park (South Korea) 11-under 131 1 stroke Lindy Duncan
2017 Haru Nomura (Japan) 3-under 281 Playoff Christie Kerr

Last time at The Ascendant LPGA

South Korea’s Jin Young Ko carded a final-round 69 to maintain her 54-hole lead at Old American Golf Club and held on for a one stroke win at the 2021 Volunteers of America Classic, her eighth career LPGA tour title. Ko finished regulation at 16-under 268, edging Finland’s Matilda Castren by one stroke.

It kicked off a five-win season for Ko, who had just lost her No. 1 ranking to Nelly Korda the week prior after holding the top spot for 100 straight weeks. She regained the No. 1 ranking back in October 2021, after earning her fourth win in seven starts at the BMW Ladies Championship.


More about Old American Golf Club

Opened in 2010, the Old American Golf Club is one of two clubs at The Tribute, a lakefront resort community on Lewisville Lake in The Colony, Texas. Designed by Tripp Davis and 12-time PGA Tour winner Justin Leonard, Old American plays as a Par 71 and stretches to 6,475 yards on the tournament scorecard.