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Wanted: More female bobsledders

 

Wanted: More female bobsledders

Driver Kaillie Humphries, right, and brakeman Melissa Lotholz won the women’s bobsled WorWHISTLER – Decorated Canadian pilot Kaillie Humphries has been leading the charge for gender equity in bobsled competition, but are her fraternity sisters around the world as invested as she is?

Or more importantly, perhaps, is the sport’s leadership with other nations embracing the idea as enthusiastically as Canada, the United States and Germany?

When the Calgary-based Humphries and her brakeman, Melissa Lotholz, bomb down the Whistler Sliding Centre track in today’s women’s two-man World Cup race, they’ll face just nine competitors from four other countries, including three each from the U.S. and Germany.

It’s the same field that competed at World Cups in Park City, Utah, last weekend and in Lake Placid, N.Y., the weekend before.

“Definitely (it’s troubling), there is a participation issue,” says Chris Le Bihan, high performance director of Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “No doubt having 10 or less sleds is a bit concerning.

“It’s a very hot topic on everyone’s radar.”

Even accounting for the usual post-Olympic dip, the decline in the number of sleds in the women’s two-man is concerning. An exhibition women’s four-man race will be held at the 2016 world championships in Igls, Austria, where Humphries hopes there will be six to eight sleds.[…]

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