Rooting for underdogs!
I came across this WaPo article by Les Carpenter (Oct. 16) and thought it was worth sharing: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/2021/10/16/kaillie-humphries-bobsled-olympics/
Kaillie Humphries, the world’s most successful female bobsled driver, lives an American life with her American husband in an American townhouse on an American cul-de-sac about a mile from the first American Legoland. A Team USA flag flutters beside her front door.
She is the reigning world champion in the monobob and the two-woman bobsled, and she would be among the favorites to win two gold medals at this winter’s Beijing Olympics. She could be the next big American Olympic star … except she’s not a U.S. citizen.
Humphries, 36, is from Canada, which she represented as she won two gold medals and a bronze in three Olympics before leaving in 2019, a year after filing a complaint alleging verbal and mental harassment by Canada’s bobsled coach.
Because she has been married for just two years, she has been told to expect a [U.S.] passport sometime in 2023. [...]
She said she has been offered instant citizenship from other countries, including China. But she doesn’t want to represent China or anywhere else.
“The country where I live, where I am married to, where I will get citizenship, I can’t compete for because [citizenship] won’t come in time,” she says.
She sighs. She needs to be a citizen by early January to have a shot at Beijing.
In Colorado Springs, McGuire and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have been fighting to find a way to get her a passport. McGuire said he has begged U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a solution — even a two-month provisional passport for January and February — and pleaded with the IOC to make an exception.
The IOC, wary of opening a door that might be impossible to close, has been unwilling to grant exceptions to Rule 41 of the Olympic Charter, which says all athletes must be a “national” of the country they represent. In a statement, the IOC acknowledged it “is aware of the case which is being discussed with the [International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation] and the USOPC” and then referred to Rule 41.