© Canadian Press photo
Heather Moyse, left, and Kaillie Humphries celebrate in front of family members after winning the women’s bobsled gold medal Wednesday at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
CHARLOTTETOWN – Heather Moyse is golden again and Islanders couldn’t be prouder.
The Summerside native teamed with Kaillie Humphries to defend their Olympic bobsleigh gold medal with two strong runs on Wednesday.
“She is just a normal kid with abnormal ability,” said Garth Turtle, who coached Moyse in rugby, basketball and track at Three Oaks Senior High. “She is phenomenal, always has been.”
Turtle and his daughter were in Vancouver to watch Moyse’s victory in 2010.
They viewed Wednesday’s race online.
“I’m just a little excited,” Turtle said moments after Canada One captured gold. “It was really exciting to see Heather going into the crowd to hug her parents.”
Dave (Eli) MacEachern, who won gold as brakeman for Canada in the 1998 Olympics, was confident Moyse and Humphries were going to win.
“The start velocity was identical today” at 48.7 kilometres per hour, he said. “Once I saw that, I knew it was over because Kaillie was just driving so much better.”
He added Moyse’s velocity on the starts was exceptional during the four heats.
“On the last run, she had the highest velocity and that’s what Kaillie needed,” said MacEachern, who has worked as a bobsleigh analyst during previous Olympic Games.
He reviewed Tuesday’s runs four or five times.
“They were by far the most consistent competitors in the event and they deserve to be where they are,” he said. “They were just too good not to win.”
He said it was great to see Moyse atop the podium.
“She landed exactly where she belongs and that’s on top of the world,” MacEachern said.
He added she is an incredible person and great ambassador.
“In my opinion, she is one of Canada’s all-time greatest female athletes,” he said. “She is just an exceptional athlete and I think we should be extremely proud of her.”
Winning back-to-back medals is a great feat.
“It’s very hard to be the best in the world at something twice,” MacEachern said. “These two have facilitated and led the evolution of women’s bobsleigh and it’s great to see.”
Heather Moyse facts:
Who – A multi-sport athlete who was named as a member of Canada’s 2014 Olympic bobsleigh team for the Games in Sochi, Russia. She also has competed internationally in rugby and cycling. She was also a track sprinter and triple jump athlete for the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
Hometown – Summerside.
Age – 35.
Education –Masters degree in occupational therapy (MScOT) from the University of Toronto in 2007 and a bachelor of science honours in kinesiology from the University of Waterloo in 2000.
Favourite mottos – Live to inspire and believe in the possibilities.
Sporting Relatives: Her older sister Heidi played basketball at varsity level and rugby union at provincial level. Her younger brother Walter played basketball at semi-professional level in Switzerland.
Occupation: Athlete, motivational speaker, occupational therapist.
Coming back from injury – She underwent a hip operation in November 2012 after she was diagnosed with a torn labrum and bone spurs on the head of the femur and hip socket in her right leg.
A look at Canada 1’s times for the four heats. They were second in the first two heats and won the last two.
Heat 1 – 57.39 (+0.13)
Heat 2 – 57.73 (+0.10)
Heat 3 – 57.57 (-0.12)
Heat 4 – 57.92 (-0.21)
P.E.I.’s Olympic Medallists
Islanders who have won Olympic medals.
1968 – Billy MacMillan (bronze medal in hockey).
1998 – Dave (Eli) MacEachern (gold medal in bobsleigh).
2010, 2014 – Heather Moyse (gold medal in bobsleigh).
Source – P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame