The 2022 Winter Olympics mark the debut of monobob, a new bobsled event. Competition gets underway with the first two runs on Sunday in Beijing (Saturday night in the United States). You can watch on NBC, Peacock or NBCOlympics.com.
To understand how the event works, On Her Turf is here to help. See below for a preview of bobsled’s newest event and follow along for live updates once competition gets underway.
What is monobob?
Women’s monobob is the newest bobsled – also known as “bobsleigh” – event. One athlete pushes, drives, and brakes. The Olympic monobob competition consists of four runs (across two days). Final rankings are determined based on combined time from all four runs.
How much does a bobsled weigh?
A monobob weighs 365 pounds, which is just 10 pounds less than a two-woman sled (375 pounds). That said, monobobs are far less expensive than two-woman sleds: about $15,000 compared to $70,000.
How fast does a bobsled go?
In women’s monobob, athletes competing in Beijing reach upwards of 75 miles per hour by the time they reach the end of the track.
Women’s Monobob – Live Updates and Results:
Second Run (10:00pm ET)
10:02pm ET: We are back on track for the second heat of women’s monobob! A quick reminder on the competition format: in run #2, athletes go in reverse order of their ranking from run #1. That means Team USA’s Kaillie Humphries, who leads by 0.30 seconds, will go last.
10:12pm ET: After a tough first run, Germany’s Mariama Jamanka – the defending Olympic gold medalist in the two-woman event – struggles again, her sled fishtailing at moments.
10:15pm ET: Margot Boch, a first-time Olympian for France, takes the lead…. but with the fastest athletes still to come, how long will it hold up?
10:19pm ET: Canada’s Cynthia Appiah was considered a contender in women’s monobob after a strong World Cup season. But the 31-year-old from Toronto is likely off the podium after struggling in her first two runs.
10:22pm ET: Romania’s Andreea Grecu moves into first. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics mark Grecu’s third Olympic appearance, but the 28-year-old is aiming for her best-ever finish after finishing 15th and 17th in 2018 and 2014, respectively.
10:30pm ET: Swiss slider Melanie Hasler slides into first… for now.
10:36pm ET: Talk about home track advantage. Huai Mingming and Ying Qing are both guaranteed to finish the top 10 after day one despite China never having fielded a women’s bobsled team before. With four athletes remaining, Huai is in first while Ying is in fourth.
10:37pm ET: Wow. Canada’s Christine de Bruin with two big runs. Definitely will enter day two in contention for a medal even if she doesn’t finish day one in the top-three.
10:40pm ET: Team USA’s Elana Meyers Taylor, who had a tough start to these 2022 Winter Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, slides into second behind de Bruin.
10:42pm ET: Germany’s Laura Nolte, who was in second after the first run, misses her line near the top of the track and struggles the rest of the way. She squeezes between de Bruin and Meyers Taylor in the standings.
10:44pm ET: A statement day from Kaillie Humphries. With the best lines of any competitor, she posts the fastest times in both runs. She will enter the second day of women’s monobob competition with a massive 1.04-second lead, a huge margin in bobsled.
The 2022 Winter Olympics mark Humphries’ fourth Olympic appearance, but first representing the United States. Humphries previously represented Canada, but the two-time Olympic gold medalist departed the federation in 2019 after filing a complaint alleging verbal and mental harassment by Canada’s bobsled coach.
10:47pm ET: Here are the top 10 athletes after the first two runs.
Kaillie Humphries (USA) – 2:09.10
Christine de Bruin (CAN) +1.04 seconds
Laura Nolte (GER) + 1.22 seconds
Elana Meyers Taylor (USA) +1.32 seconds
Huai Mingming (CHN) + 1.80 seconds
Melanie Hasler (SUI) +1.94 seconds
Breeana Walker (AUS) +1.99 seconds
Ying Qing (CHN) +2.05 seconds
Andreea Grecu (ROU) +2.17 seconds
Cynthia Appiah (CAN) and Margot Boch (FRA) + 2.18 seconds
10:53pm ET: Women’s monobob competition continues on Monday morning in Beijing (Sunday night in the United States). Run three begins at 8:30pm ET, while medals will be awarded at the conclusion of run #4 (10pm ET). A full women’s monobob schedule is below.
First Run (8:30pm ET)
8:32pm ET: Women’s monobob has made its Olympic debut! South Korea’s Kim Yoo-Ran is the first athlete down the track, clocking 1:06.68, an automatic track record.
8:36pm ET: U.S. pilot Elana Meyers Taylor, the top-ranked monobob athlete in the world, is the fourth athlete to go. She has a big skid at the top, but still clocks the fastest time so far (1:05.12). Plenty more athletes to come, though, including…
8:38pm ET: Fellow American Kaillie Humphries is on track! Humphries is making her fourth Olympic appearance in Beijing, but first representing the United States. Humphries comes down into first (1:04.44), despite a few mistakes.
MORE ABOUT KAILLIE HUMPHRIES’ TEAM USA SWITCH: Two days after gaining U.S. citizenship, Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled World Cup
8:45pm ET: Canada’s Christine de Bruin – the seventh starter of the day – slides into second place (tied with Meyers Taylor). De Bruin made her Olympic debut four years ago, finishing seventh in the two-woman event in PyeongChang.
8:48pm ET: Germany’s Laura Nolte with a strong run (1:04.74), sliding into second. Nolte won the gold in this event when it debuted at the Youth Olympic Games in 2016. Current monobob standings are: Humphries, Nolte, and de Bruin and Meyers Taylor tied for third, with 11 athletes still to come in the first run.
8:55pm ET: A few surprises so far… Australia’s Breeana Walker had some slides and skids, as did Germany’s Mariama Jamanka. Both athletes have some work to do in the final three runs to get back into podium contention.
8:57pm ET: China’s Ying Qing slides into fifth (1:05.16) in her Olympic debut. Her countrywoman, Huai Mingming, is currently sixth. While most athletes are still getting to know the Olympic track (guided by a test event in October, plus some training runs in the last week), the host nation clearly has more practice on this track. Heading into the 2022 Winter Olympics, China’s best ever finish in any Olympic bobsled event? Twenty-sixth place, a result achieved by China’s two-man and four-man sleds at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
9:11pm ET: Here is Jamaica’s Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian… Eight years ago, Fenlator piloted the third U.S. sled at the 2014 Sochi Games. She has since switched to representing Jamaica, and four years ago, she piloted Jamaica’s first ever women’s Olympic bobsled team. In the debut of Olympic monobob, Fenlator-Victorian slides into 18th, a full two seconds back from Humphries’ leading time.
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9:15pm ET: That’s it for the first run. The second run begins in less than an hour (10pm eastern, 11am in Beijing). Current standings: 1) Humphries, 2) Nolte, 3) de Bruin and Meyers Taylor (tie). With three runs remaining, there are plenty of athletes in the mix for a spot on the podium. The top eight finishers are all currently within one second of each other.
Women’s Monobob Schedule – 2022 Winter Olympics
Why was monobob added to the Olympics?
While men have competed in two Olympic bobsled events for nearly a century, thanks to the addition of women’s monobob, the 2022 Winter Olympics will mark the first time that female bobsledders have two medal opportunities.
Female pilots, that is.
But while only one athlete competes in monobob, it isn’t really a one-woman event.
Push athletes (also known as brakemen) help with every aspect of the event, “Except the actual ride down the track,” U.S. pilot Elana Meyers Taylor said.
Meyers Taylor and fellow U.S. driver Kaillie Humphries – the most decorated female bobsledders in Olympic history with three medals each – weren’t particularly happy when monobob was added to the Olympic program. They had instead been advocating for the addition of a four-woman event.
READ MORE ABOUT THE DEBUT OF MONOBOB: Despite the name, monobob is not a one-woman event
Women’s monobob was appealing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because the event arguably allows for more competitive balance between nations. Monobob sleds are far less expensive – and with all sleds produced by the same manufacturer – there is less room for wealthy bobsled nations to pay for technical bells and whistles.
But the additional event has resulted in a different cost, one that falls on the shoulders of the athletes who aren’t even eligible to win a medal in the event.
Female push athletes often spend just as much time preparing for the monobob competition as they do the two-woman event. “We’re increasing the workload, but with less people to do it,” said U.S. push athlete Sylvia Hoffman.
Bobsled Competition Format:
Run 1: The top 10 pilots (based on their international ranking) choose start numbers between 4-13, with the highest-ranked athlete picking first.
Run 2: The start order is based on results from the first run. The 20th-ranked athlete starts first, then 19th, and so on.
Run 3: The top-ranked pilot after the first two runs starts first. The lowest-ranked pilot goes last.
Run 4: In the final run, start order is reversed again. The top-ranked athlete (based on combined time from the first three runs) starts last.
Women’s Monobob – Start List:
1 – KOR – KIM Yoo-Ran
2 – CHN – HUAI Mingming
3 – UKR – Lidiia HUNKO
4 – USA – Elana TAYLOR MEYERS
5 – USA – Kaillie HUMPHRIES
6 – CAN – Cynthia APPIAH
7 – CAN – Christine de BRUIN
8 – AUS – Breeana WALKER
9 – GER – Laura NOLTE
10 – ROC – Nadezhda SERGEYEVA
11 – GER – Mariama JAMANKA
12 – SUI – Melanie HASLER
13 – CHN – YING Qing
14 – ROU – Andreea GRECU
15 – NED – Karlien SLEPER
16 – AUT – Katrin BEIERL
17 – FRA – Margot BOCH
18 – SVK – Viktoria CERNANSKA
19 – JAM – Jazmine FENLATOR-VICTORIAN
20 – ITA – Giada ANDREUTTI
The NBC Olympics research team contributed to this story.
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Winter Olympics: Women’s Monobob Preview, Live Updates, Results originally appeared on NBCSports.com