Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

Big Read: Inside the golden rivalry that fuels Kaillie Humphries

Humphries had the reaction you’d expect when Meyers Taylor first floated the idea at a world cup stop in Switzerland: “I wanted to say no,” she says. “There was no way I wanted to share with her.” Humphries is McMillan’s longest-running client, and they’re now in their 11th year together. Eventually, after speaking with McMillan and thinking it over, Humphries became convinced it was actually a good idea. “Maybe she didn’t know it then,” McMillan says, “but she needed somebody at that level to train with to give her a little bit of additional motivation.”

And it turned out Meyers Taylor pushed her more than a little bit. “There was nobody within our Canadian system and nobody in the world that was going to push me athletically or mentally more than Elana,” Humphries says. “If I was going to continue after Vancouver to be dominant, to continue to defend gold, I couldn’t become complacent … I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without Elana pushing me as hard as she does.”

Humphries will be first to admit, though, that it can be incredibly frustrating training side-by-side with her rival. Meyers Taylor is, after all, an athletic specimen. She’s not tall, at five-foot-five, but she is 180 pounds of mostly muscle. As the American puts it, “I’ve got some genetic gifts,” thanks to her dad, Eddie, who played in the NFL. “I’m freakishly good at squatting,” she says.

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Big Read: Inside the golden rivalry that fuels Kaillie Humphries