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…

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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.

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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.

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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.