KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — They called it the Battle Royale. Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers spent part of the summer training alongside one another, getting ready to spend this winter battling each other.
They shared a coach. They shared philosophies. They shared knowledge.
They could not share the Olympic gold medal.
It belongs to Humphries.
Canada’s team of Humphries and Heather Moyse are again queens of Olympic women’s bobsledding, rallying past the U.S. duo of Meyers and Lauryn Williams on Wednesday night to win gold at the Sochi Games.
It’s the second straight Olympic title for Humphries and Moyse, and it wasn’t decided until the final moment of the competition — then only by a tenth of a second.
“We knew it was going to be this way,” Humphries said after becoming the first women’s bobsledder to drive to back-to-back Olympic golds.
So close, all season. The World Cup title went to Humphries, by a single point. So did the Sochi title, by a sliver of the time it takes to blink.
Meyers, of Douglasville, Ga., became the first U.S. women’s bobsledder to win multiple Olympic medals, this one added to the bronze she captured as a brakeman in Vancouver. Williams, of Rochester, Pa., became the first U.S. woman and fifth athlete overall to win medals in different sports at both the Summer and Winter Games, her silver here added to a sprint relay gold from London in 2012 and a silver from the 100 meters in Athens in 2004.
“I didn’t come here to make history,” Williams said after what could very well be her final bobsled race, just six months after she gave the sport a try. “I came here to help Team USA and I feel like I did. It wasn’t about history for me. It wasn’t about the medal for me. It’s all about the journey.”
Jamie Greubel of Newtown, Pa., paired with brakeman Aja Evans of Chicago to grab the bronze in USA-2, giving the U.S. two Olympic women’s bobsled medal winners for the first time.
“We have so much depth in our program and so much talent on our team,” Greubel said. “And to be able to show the world that we are a force to be reckoned with is really awesome.”
But this night belonged to Humphries and Moyse.