Bobsledders Humphries, Moyse uncertain about future together

Nancy MacPhee
Published on July 15, 2014
Heather Moyse and Kaillie Humphries share a laugh as head table guests at the 11th annual Boys and Girls Club of Summerside Celebrity Dinner.
Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE — Will the dynamic duo be together to vie for a third Olympic gold?

It’s the question most often posed to Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse.

Moyse and Humphries were on P.E.I. this week to take part in the 11th annual Boys and Girls Club of Summerside Celebrity Dinner and its two-day golf tournament.

The duo first won gold in the two-man bobsleigh at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and repeated the performance earlier this year in Sochi, Russia.

Whether they will go for the hat trick in PyeongChang in 2018 is still up in the air.

When asked the question, Humphries immediately laughed.

“That would be a better question for Heather. My plan is to stick around. I’m going to do another four-year cycle. We will see how it goes in 2018 in PyeongChang,” said the 28 -year-old Calgary, Alta., native.

“I know where I’m at and I am willing to sacrifice and dedicate for that and I am not sure Heather knows what her plan is exactly over the next four years.

“We are never going to say never, definitely not.”

She admitted that the four years spent training and dedicated to the sport between each Winter Olympics can be grueling.

“It is a lot of sacrifice and it is going to take that much more even to get to that point so, really, we are going to take it year-by-year, step by step,” said Humphries. “Both of us, over the last four years, have had very individual journeys to 2014 and I know the next four years will be no different.”

Moyse, when asked the same question, was somewhat evasive, not giving a firm answer either way.

“I have no idea. Right now, she’s already committed to going. I have not made any kind of commitments. I, right now, am more interested in pursuing different challenges that are outside of sports,” added the Summerside native. “Right now I am pursuing all these opportunities to do motivational speaking across the country. I am going to China at the end of August to be a role model for the athletes at the Youth Olympics Games.”

Pilot Humphries and brakewoman Moyse are the first female bobsledders to successfully defend their Olympic title and, as a result, shared in the flag bearer duties at the closing of the Sochi Olympics. 

In addition, Humphries is also the two-time defending overall World Cup champion and, during her career, has won seven FIBT World Championship medals, including her current title as the reigning two-time world champion.

Moyse has been to three Olympics, the first as brakewoman for Helen Upperton in Torino, Italy in 2006, where the duo finished in fourth place, missing bronze by five one-hundredths of a second. 

At the time, Moyse was relatively new to the sport, having joined the Canadian team for the 2005-’06 season. That year, she and Upperton won the Canadian Championships and earned four gold medals on the World Cup circuit.

For now, Moyse is happy with inspiring others.

“My career and my life have never been defined by just sports,” she added. “Right now, I am excited to use what I accomplished almost as credentials to be able to go and inspire and motivate people all over the world. That’s what I am more excited about doing.”

Both she and Humphries were doing that prior to the Celebrity Dinner, stopping to chat with youngsters, signing autographs and posing for pictures with their medals.

The duo said its humbling and an honour to help inspire the next generation of athletes.

“It’s hard to put into words the feeling of knowing you can inspire and motivate and be a role model for kids by doing what I did,” said Moyse. “I didn’t even start lifting weights or training for sports until I was faced with this challenge at 27. If I had of had someone training for the Olympics in my neighbourhood when I was growing up maybe this whole athletic career would have started a lot earlier or maybe I would have had time to do five Olympic games or six Olympic games.

Humphries said meeting with fans, young and old, never gets old.

“You have your moments, yes, when it is hard to be on, you’re tired and you travelled a lot, but support is support and I am very appreciative. I love just having people believe in my dreams as much as I do and see me succeed and be supportive of that,” she added.

“When the kids come up it’s different. With them, it takes me back to being a kid. When I first went to the Olympics I was seven-years-old and I remember the first time I got to meet an Olympian and hold Mark Tewksbury’s gold medal. If I get to be that for somebody else that’s amazing.”