TORONTO – It’s been six weeks since she raced to Olympic gold, and Kaillie Humphries said she still gets approached by a good dozen strangers a day who want to talk about Sochi.
“It’s just randoms who will be like ‘I chased you for two blocks, I just want to say good job,”’ Humphries said. “It’s really inspiring. I’m proud, I’m very proud to be from this country. I’m really seeing it since being back. It’s really remarkable.”
Humphries and partner Heather Moyse won gold in the women’s two-man bobsled in Sochi, following up on the gold they won four years earlier in Vancouver. The two were chosen to carry Canada’s flag in the Games’ closing ceremonies.
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks since of appearances and interviews for the 28-year-old Humphries.
One of the highlights was meeting Celine Dion backstage after her Las Vegas show.
“She was unbelievable, I was so impressed with how professional she was and how personable she was,” Humphries said. “That was so cool. It’s Celine Dion. Canada icon. So to be able to see and experience that, that’s been one of my highlights for sure.
“Just being back in Canada and seeing the response, how motivated people were to watch the Games and be a part, but also how much they want to share their story with me. That’s the fun part for me is hearing where people were during my event. Because you are in a bubble during the Games, and you don’t realize the impact it has here.”
She was at a Toronto Sport Chek store _ one of her sponsors _ on Tuesday, giving exercise advice for those who’ve been cooped during the particularly long and brutal winter.
Humphries’ tips: go easy at first, and wear proper equipment.
“All of a sudden it’s nice out and you’re thinking, ‘Ya, I can do this,’ and you’re thinking you’re as fit as you were when you stopped training, which was months ago for a lot of people,” Humphries said. “Training isn’t just a sprint marathon: one time, go out and be super awesome and go out maximum and then shut it down. It’s about consistency, and making sure you’re set up correctly.
“For a lot of people it’s been a couple of months and in a couple of months your body changes a lot. What used to fit and feel great doesn’t necessarily now, depending on how much you used your running shoes for example over last summer. . . it’s definitely better to get into fresh new stuff that fits you correctly and can set you up for a great summer.”
Humphries hasn’t worked out since Sochi, she’ll probably ease back into training in the next week or two. She trains six days a week normally, with Sundays off. She normally takes one month off each year.
“I’ve really noticed it, just being home, it has been crazy busy, it’s been awesome, but I definitely do feel very slow, very lethargic, I’m getting to the point where I’m like ‘OK, I know the body is changing,’ allowing myself this month off to not have any restrictions, not feel like I have to go to the gym or I’ve got to eat the proper food.
`”My body needs a month where it can just be, and not be pushed to the limits.”
Humphries plans to defend her gold medal at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In the immediate future, she plans to add a couple more tattoos to her well-inked buff body. She already has portraits of her parents tattooed on the inside of her right arm from wrist to armpit. She has a tattoo on her back commemorating her Vancouver Olympic victory. Her left leg resembles a shield of armour, tattooed from waist to toe in a memorial piece to her grandparents.
She plans to add tributes to her sisters Jordan and Shelby to make her right arm a full family sleeve. She’ll travel to Los Angeles in July to work with the same tattoo artist _ she originally spotted him in a magazine article _ who did the rest of her arm.
She’ll have something added to commemorate the Sochi gold medal, and is considering a tattoo artist in Sweden that she’s read about for that piece.