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2021 Worlds in Lake Placid will be busiest ever

International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation adds monobob to bring slate up to 8 events

USA 1 driver Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs push their sled to start a run during a World Cup race at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid on Dec. 14, 2019. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

LAKE PLACID — The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) announced has announced that monobob has been added to the 2021 Lake Placid World Championship schedule.

It will be the first time that monobob, which will make its Olympic debut at the 2022 Winter Olympics, will be featured at a world championships.

“We are really excited that we get to host the first-ever monobob world championships on home ice, and we are looking forward to a strong showing from the U.S. athletes,” said USA Bobsled Assistant Coach and 2006 Olympic medalist Shauna Rohbock.

Team USA has two of the strongest medal contenders for the inaugural monobob world championship race: Elana Meyers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries. Meyers Taylor and Humphries have won a combined six Olympic and 12 world championship medals over their illustrious careers.

“After 16 years in the sport, I wanted to continue to grow with new challenges. Monobob gave me something new to strive for, a new motivation,” said Humphries, who has two Olympic gold medals and a silver medal in women’s bobsled. “The men have always had two opportunities to win medals, and I wanted the same opportunity to represent my country on the world’s stage. I’m excited to now have that opportunity.”

The monobob event gives women’s bobsledders a second medal opportunity.

The 2021 Lake Placid World Championships are slated to put on eight races; the most events of any IBSF world championships before. The schedule includes women’s and men’s skeleton, mixed skeleton, women’s bobsled, monobob, men’s two- and four-man bobsled, and para bobsled.

“The announcement that monobob will be at world championships is fantastic news,” said three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor, who won her first career world championship medal as a push athlete in the 2009 Lake Placid event. “This is something the female bobsledders have pushed for for quite some time, so to see it happen is great. It’s an opportunity to race monobob at a major event prior to the Olympics, and will help us all be better prepared for its Olympic debut.”

The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), the organization hosting the 2021 Lake Placid World Championships, made a strong push alongside USA Bobsled/Skeleton for the inclusion of monobob.

“I’m really excited that the first-ever world championships for monobob will be in Lake Placid,” said Humphries, who won her first of three women’s bobsled world championship titles in Lake Placid at the 2012 event. She also learned how to drive in Lake Placid in 2006.

“Lake Placid is always so welcoming,” said Humphries. “I also love the track. It’s hard, and I appreciate that. I like technical tracks because they suit my driving style. If you take it for granted it will eat you alive, so you always have to be on your game.”

“Thank you to Tony Carlino for all he’s done to push for inclusion, and to ORDA for agreeing to host monobob at worlds on an already packed schedule,” said Meyers Taylor. “I’m so excited to race monobob world championships, and I’m looking forward to a great competition.”

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