Not even three months after becoming a U.S. citizen, Kaillie Humphries brought home a gold medal.

The monobob gold she won on Monday was her third overall (two-man in 2014 and 2010, when she was representing Canada).

Her 1.54-second margin of victory is the largest in an Olympic bobsled race in 42 years. She was given a U.S. flag as she exited her apparatus and, with a grin, she chanted “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

“This one feels more emotional than most,” Humphries said. “It just really hits the heartstrings a little bit to know that I had to fight so hard for something that I wanted, and I had the backing and the support and the nation stood behind me, and it worked.

“I get to bring home a gold medal for a country that believes in me and a team that really backed me over these last four years.”

The United States got a second medal, as Elana Meyers Taylor took silver; it’s her fourth Olympic medal and third silver. She has silvers as a driver in the two-man from 2018 and 2014, and a bronze as a brakeman in 2010.

“This is better than gold,” Meyers Taylor, who had a run-in with Covid, said. “This is definitely the most difficult medal I’ve ever earned. It’s definitely been the hardest journey to get here. So this is the most special, by far, and I am so excited to take it back to my son.”

Humphries asked for her release from Canada in 2019, alleging verbal and emotional abuse by Todd Hays, Canada’s bobsled coach. The case is ongoing. Hays has denied the allegations and is suing Humphries for defamation.

Humphries has lived in the U.S. since 2016 and married Travis Armbruster, a former U.S. bobsledder, in 2019. She’s represented the U.S. internationally since fall 2019, winning the world titles in two-man in 2020 and 2021, when she also won the inaugural monobob title.

“There were a couple of low points this summer, right after Tokyo and being so inspired by watching the Summer Games and having no idea if my citizenship was going to come in time,” Humphries said. “Just my husband and I, and basically me bawling my face off, not knowing and the uncertainty of, ‘Am I going to be able to go to a Games and have the opportunity to be able to compete?’

“It wasn’t my talent or my skill that was going to not allow me to be here. It was going to be whether I got my citizenship.”

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