Every Year on March 8, the International Women’s Day, we celebrate the amazing female athletes as well as coaches and staff in bobsleigh and Skeleton sports.
Always hard to pick, because there are so many fantastic stories, but here we go.
Photos: IBSF, Viesturs Lacis, Girts Kehris, Charlie Booker, Shannon Galea
Nicole Rocha Silveira (BRA, Skeleton) – as a nurse, she spend the summer of 2020 taking care of COVID-19 patients in Brazil. Then started in her first season of BMW IBSF World Cup and finished the season with a personal best rank 17 at BMW IBSF World Championships 2021 in Altenberg!
Kaillie Humphries (USA, Bobsleigh) made history as first ever female bobsleigh pilot to earn four World Championships titles in 2-woman Bobsleigh winning gold at the BMW IBSF World Championships 2021 in Altenberg (GER). Additionally, Kaillie Humphries went down in the history books as first ever Women’s Monobob World Champion. The two-time Olympic Champion is one of the most experienced women currently competing and an ambassador of women’s bobsleigh: she’s involved since 2002, starting as push athlete with first international competitions in 2004 and switched to the pilot seat in 2006.
Together with Cynthia Appiah (CAN) and Melissa Lotholz (CAN), Kaillie Humphries (USA) belongs to the female athletes who celebrated international wins in all bobsleigh disciplines. Additionally to several victories in 2-woman Bobsleigh and Women’s Monobob, the three competed together at the 4-woman Bobsleigh Exhibition Race at the 2016 World Championships in Innsbruck. Kaillie Humphries, at that time still starting for Canada, piloted her sled to first place with Appiah, Lotholz and Kasha Lee as push athletes.
Katrin Beierl (AUT, Bobsleigh) became the first Austrian to win the 2-woman Bobsleigh overall ranking in BMW IBSF World Cup. As the icing of the cake she received the crystal globe cup at the finals on her home track in Innsbruck (AUT) after celebrating the third podium placing of the season.
Shannon Galea (MLT, Skeleton) joined the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation sliding family with founding the Malta National Federation in April 2020 and becoming the first athlete ever of the mediterranean island state. She finished sixth overall in the IBSF North Aberican Cup ranking 2020/2021.
Elana Meyers Taylor (USA, Bobsleigh) and Elisabeth Maier (CAN, Skeleton) made their comeback in the BMW IBSF World Cup just about a year after giving birth to their sons. Elana Meyers Taylor had three podium places in four 2-woman Bobsleigh World Cup races and another two in Women’s Monobob World Series. Elisabeth Maier finished four of her five World Cup races this season in the top six.
Kimberley Bos (NED, Skeleton) is the first athlete from the Netherlands to win a cup for the best athletes in the BMW IBSF World Cup season. The 27-year-old finished third overall in what was her best season so far.
Živa Lavrinc (SLO, Para-Bobsleigh) finished the 2020-2021 season in IBSF Para Sport World Cup as seventh overall and the highest ranked woman in the field. In only her second season in the sport she claimed her best result so far with rank six in St. Moritz (SUI).
Anja Schneiderheinze (GER, Bobsleigh), 2006 Olympic Champion as push athlete for Sandra Kiriasis and 2016 World Champion as pilot herself, is part of the IBSF jury team. In the 2020-2021 season she joined bobsleigh races of Europe Cup, World Cup and World Championships as jury member and was the jury president at the Altenberg IBSF Europe Cup.
Janine Flock (AUT, Skeleton) this winter secured the overall victory in BMW IBSF World Cup for the second time after 2015. At the final in Innsbruck (AUT), Janine Flock finished second and thus stood on the podium in all eight races of the season. The 31-year-old, the most successful female Austrian skeleton athlete, had her first international race in 2006 at the age of 17. Since 2010, she competed in 87 World Cup races and since 2008 at eleven World Championships.
Cathleen Martini (GER, bobsleigh), 2-woman bobsleigh World Champion in 2011, was back at the bobsleigh track six years after her last international race as a pilot: At the BMW IBSF World Championships 2021 in Altenberg, she was responsible for the bobsleigh races as race director. The now 38-year-old had ended her career as an athlete in 2015 - after 16 World Cup victories, a total of 45 podiums, the overall victory in 2011 and four European Championship titles.