Kaillie Humphries: ‘I’m proud of my body’

Kaillie Humphries: ‘I’m proud of my body’


2-time Olympic champion turned herself into a bobsleigh machine

By Kaillie Humphries for CBC Sports
November 30, 2016
Each tattoo on Kaillie Humphries' body represents a different aspect of her personality.(Photo courtesy Kaillie Humphries) Each tattoo on Kaillie Humphries' body represents a different aspect of her personality.(Photo courtesy Kaillie Humphries)

There are a lot of misconceptions about me, and a lot of things that people simply don’t know.

Here’s one that might surprise you: I hate jean shopping.

A lot of women are uncomfortable shopping for bathing suits, but that's never been a problem for me. Because of how I’m built — I have big legs and a big butt — it’s hard to find a pair of jeans that fits just right. They either fit my legs and not my waist, or they fit my waist but I can't get them above my butt.

Don't get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I've worked hard for my body, for my strong frame. It's made me into the athlete I am.

Over the years I’ve turned my body into a bobsleigh machine and it’s helped me achieve the success I’ve had on the track. I love my body, I love the athleticism of it, all of my muscles, the curves... I know I’m not the leanest athlete in the world, but that’s fine because I can’t be for my sport.

At the same time, I have days, just like every other woman, where I wish things were different. But if I ever catch myself thinking, “Ugh, my legs look huge today,” I stop and remind myself that I have to be the size that I am in order to be the best in the world and compete in my sport.

 
Humphries, front, has won back-to-back Olympic titles, making her arguably the greatest female bobsleigh driver of all time. (Jens Meyer/Associated Press) Humphries, front, has won back-to-back Olympic titles, making her arguably the greatest female bobsleigh driver of all time. (Jens Meyer/Associated Press)

'We're supposed to be different'

We’re all different and we’re supposed to be different. We’re not all supposed to be the same.

In a world of eyelash extensions and hair extensions and nose jobs and boob jobs and butt jobs, it’s very hard to find positive role models in light of all that.

I’m proud of how I look, and that includes my hair and my tattoos.

Since I was 18 I've been getting tattoos and I plan on getting more. I don't expect to be totally covered, but I'll always carry what's important to me on my skin.

My family and I all got tattoos when I made the national team and it remains my only colour tattoo. The rest are black and white, which match my personality. They're detailed and pretty, while still giving off an intense, bad-ass side. My hairstyle — half-shaved, half-long — also plays into that.

And while I wouldn’t change anything about how I look, I will say that the invention of stretchy skinny jeans has really alleviated my shopping stress.

At least that’s one less thing to worry about.

Kaillie Humphries' "love-hate" relationship with her body.

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