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Kaillie Humphries wins in first bobsled races as U.S. citizen

American Kaillie Humphries wins her first two-woman bobsled World Cup race of the season by .04 seconds with push athlete/brakewoman Kaysha Love in Altenberg, Germany. She is two-for-two as an American citizen.

ALTENBERG, Germany — For Kaillie Humphries, this was a win unlike any other.

Capping an unforgettable week, Humphries won a women’s monobob race on Saturday, doing so less than 48 hours after she completed a 12,000-mile round trip from Germany to the United States and finished the process of gaining citizenship.

Then she won the traditional two-woman World Cup event on Sunday.

They were the 44th and 45th international victories of her career on various circuits and at various levels, plus her 12th and 13th as a member of the U.S. bobsled team — and her first two as an American citizen.

“My first win, officially, as an American,” she said on the medals stand Saturday, with her hand over her heart, just a few seconds after realizing she had prevailed.

Humphries had to rally to get each victory. In monobob, she finished .06 of a second faster than Cynthia Appiah of Canada, who held the lead after the first of two heats. Laura Nolte of Germany was third, .53 back of Humphries.

In two-woman, Humphries and push athlete Kaysha Love prevailed by .04 over German Laura Nolte, who had the first-run lead by .02.

ON HER TURF: More on Humphries’ whirlwind week

The week wasn’t easy: Humphries was in six different beds in six nights and had the halfway-across-the-world trip squeezed in, with her Olympic hopes hinging on the outcome of the citizenship process. She acknowledged Saturday that not knowing if she would be eligible to compete at the Beijing Games had taken a toll.

Without citizenship, Humphries — a three-time Olympic medalist who came to the U.S. team three years after gaining her release from her native Canada — had no path to the Games this winter. Now, she’s going to be a medal favorite.

“I’d wake up and wonder why I’m doing this, days where I lacked motivation,” Humphries said. “When things get hard you start to doubt, and when you don’t have the Olympics as the end goal that you’re fighting for, those doubts creep in. I love what I do, but being able to wake up today and not have the stress of not knowing whether or not I’d be able to compete in the Olympics was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.”

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