Kaillie Humphries knows how she likes things: Fast.
Cars? Yep. Horses? Definitely. Bobsleds? Most of all.
When you meet her, Humphries is upbeat, quick to laugh and walks with the easy-going confidence of an athlete, but she is also a fierce competitor who has pushed her sport beyond where anyone thought it could go. A two-time Olympic and world bobsledding champion who is looking for an unprecedented third Olympic gold in 2018, she has also pushed the boundaries of the sport by becoming the first woman to compete against men in 2016. So yeah, she’s fast.
She’s also a proud Albertan, comfortable running horses through their paces in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies during a lull in training, as she pushes herself through gruelling training sessions.
Welcome to Kaillie Humphries’ world-is-a-blur view as she rips down the boblsled track at Windsport. Fastest speed? 160 km/h.
She is often doing the latter at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Here, at one of the host venues of the 1988 Winter Olympics, elite winter athletes train alongside recreational skiers, tourists and everyday Albertans. In addition to an elite track for bobsled, luge and skeleton and a unique indoor training facility for sledders, Canada Olympic Park boasts a ski resort with one of the world’s best half-pipes, skating rinks, a tube park, and many more activities for both summer and winter, including Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
“You really want to try speed?” she says. “Try the bobsled in the winter.”
Winsport is one of the venues that was used for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and has since become an important part of athlete development and winter fun for recreationalists. Elsewhere, the Canmore Nordic Centre hosts some of the world’s best cross-country skiers, and has features hundreds of kilometres of trails for those just hoping to get out on their skis or fat bike. Nearby Nakiska Ski Area draws thousands of downhill skiers of all levels. You can even go skating at the Olympic Oval at the University of Calgary, the world’s first indoor speed-skating track.
And if you are at Winsport, you just might get lucky and catch a glimpse of Humphries training on the bobsled track. You’ll know it’s her. She’ll be the fastest.